AI-generated Images — A Perspective.

carlo de marchis
6 min readNov 1, 2022

You may heard about it. Or not. With the development of AI Artificial Intelligence and ML Machine Learning more and more areas are seeing innovation impact every aspects of business and, at some extent, our lives.

TL;DR;

AI-generated images will potentially impact commodity image creation and basic graphics needs, democratizing their creation for non-designers, and on the opposite create a new scenario for AI-generated art by creators who become skilled and imaginative in new ways.
We will prompted with the doubt if images are real or generated for a while.
Key questions in the ethical and IP/copyright fields still need answers.
I guess it will be normalized pretty soon. Not causing a major business disruption though, beyond the specific area of interest.
MY ADVICE: do not discount this, it will come to your door soon, be prepared.

See my full take on the subject later on the article.

Overview

This is not something people expected to happen and as with every new thing my approach is to embrace and understand before discounting it.

So what is it?

“We’ve trained a neural network that creates images from text captions for a wide range of concepts expressible in natural language.” taken from OpenAI website (one of many).
How it works? You can insert a descriptive text and let the AI engine serves you back images that represents what the AI engine understand and can reconstruct from your text.

Example:

A high-level intro from the World Economic Forum:

Tools

Midjourney, Dall-E maybe the most famous one but many are there now available to experiment with.
They were a bit exclusive, nerdy and for techies only and are now becoming more mainstream and super easy (and fun) to use.

Dall-E opened up to all the ability to use their services just recently.

Moreover many apps and websites are integrating these technologies into their own experience.

Lately even microsoft will integrate this into Office.

Photoleap mobile app

Distrokid — music distribution platform to generate album covers

AI-generated Art

The world of art is starting to take notice, is this a threat or a new area of art? Will it destroy the art business world or make it more diverse?

Concerns and Questions

There are a lot of questions and concerns around this technology, and we can categorized them into:

  1. use of source imagery
  2. ability to create fake images
  3. ability to create disturbing images
  4. ethical AI engine considerations

My views

I don’t like to make predictions — too easy to get them wrong — but as a reverse archeologist and futurist (😎😎😎) I need to imagine scenarios and analyze them.

  1. I expect this technology to spread very quickly and become commodity in the next 1 or 2 years
  2. Commodity graphics creation may not need a designer in some cases when this become widely available, everybody will be able to create professional graphics by entering text and playing with variations of the results
  3. This capability will become a feature or most if not all visual editing apps
  4. A lot of crap images will be generated by lots of people
  5. Some creators will become extremely skilled and start generate impressive images that could not be created before
  6. New for of art will develop from this and a new market
  7. Some legal battle will start around it
  8. AI — as often — will have diversity/inclusion issues
  9. The ease with which we are now able to create images will make us quickly bored and we may stop using it after the first hype moment and only real good creators will make use of them in the long run
  10. Manual graphics (maybe niche) will come back stronger as a response to this — as in many other fields like music and photography — and the two will co-exist.

My project

I have dip my toes in the water of AI-generated art and applied these concepts to photography.

What else

Beyond AI-generated images a wealth of other areas in which the same concept applies.

Audio and video are the first obvious one and will be part of a future blog post.

What’s next

This is so now that I discounted an article from September 2022 as it sounded old…

Let’s see and follow carefully how this develops.

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carlo de marchis

@CDM / Advisor. 35 years in sports & media tech. Electronic Label and Musician (NEOM Records). Vinyl selector as Carlo's Turntables.