Face to Face With Dall-E, The AI Artist That Might Change The World
Dall-E can illustrate just about anything using a short text prompt. Should it?
Dall-E’s power becomes evident within the first minute of seeing it. The AI program creates intricate, original images when you feed it short text prompts. Its only limit is your imagination. On Wednesday, I watched live as an employee of OpenAI — which created it — asked Dall-E to draw a “Rabbit prison warden, digital art,” and, within twenty seconds, it produced ten new illustrations. All were professional grade.
At first, Dall-E inspires awe, then reverence kicks in. Still in research mode, the program is expanding fast. OpenAI is granting access to up to 1,000 new users each week, and Dall-E’s drawn 3 million images since April. In our modern, visual culture, there’s little doubt this technology — or some variation — will go mainstream. And soon, every internet user will likely have the capacity to share ideas, or shape perceptions, in profound new ways by using it. We’re just starting to grasp the implications.
“Dall-E 2 right now is in a research preview mode,” Lama Ahmad, a policy researcher at OpenAI, told me. “To understand — What are the use cases? What kind of interest is there? What kind of beneficial use cases are there? And then, at the same time, learning about the safety risks.”
The notion that Dall-E — officially named Dall-E 2, for its second iteration — will replace professional illustrators is unlikely, but its amateur uses are more intriguing. The demand for quality art exceeds illustrators’ ability to deliver it, and Dall-E can fill the gap. OpenAI already uses Dall-E to illustrate PowerPoints, and countless web articles that use stock images are good candidates for it as well. Memes, fan art, and marketing materials could also use Dall-E. Start dreaming up possibilities, and it isn’t easy to stop.
After taking suggestions on social media this week, I worked with Open-AI to have Dall-E draw several astounding illustrations. They included a town square in the lost city of Atlantis, Ikea instructions for the iPhone, and a barren landscape with tree branches growing golden pocket watches. Dall-E uses artificial intelligence that understands images and their…