Dall-E Mini: Everything you need to know about the Strange AI Art Creator

by Barbara R. Abercrombie
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Nightmare fuel is everywhere, especially online. The latest source: Dall-E Mini, an AI tool garners attention on social media thanks to the weird, funny, and sometimes disturbing images it creates of text prompts.

Surf batman.

Erin Carson/Dall-E Mini

With Dall-E Mini, you can type a short phrase describing an image, a word that theoretically only exists in the deep recesses of your soul, and within seconds the algorithm will manifest that image on your screen.

Chances are you’ve seen some Dall-E Mini images popping up in your social media feeds when people think of the wildest prompts they can think of — maybe it’s Jon Hamm eating ham or Yoda robbing a grocery store.

This is not the first time that art and artificial intelligence have attracted the attention of the internet. There’s a certain appeal to seeing an algorithm tackle something as subjective as art. In 2016, actor Thomas Middleditch made a short film based on a script written by an algorithm. Google has produced more than a few tools that connect art and AI. In 2018, the Arts & Culture app let users find their counterparts in famous paintings. Or Google’s AutoDraw will figure out what you’re trying to draw and solve it for you.

Other text-to-image systems, such as OpenAI’s Dall-E 2 and Google Imagen, are not yet available to the masses.

Here’s what you need to know about Dall-E Mini and its AI-generated art.

What is Dall-E Mini?

Dall-E Mini is an AI model that creates images based on your directions. In an interview with the publication I, programmer Boris Dayma said he initially built the program in July 2021 as part of a competition between Google and an AI community called Hugging Face. Dayma did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

How does it work?

Anyone can type a prompt and hit the “run” button (although you’ll probably get an error about traffic to the tool and have to try again). Dall-E Mini will spit out its results as a 3×3 grid with nine images. A comment about the device on its website says it is trained on “unfiltered data from the Internet”.

How good is AI?

Unsurprisingly, Dall-E Mini is a bit hit-and-miss. In the interview with I News, Dayma said the AI ​​is better with abstract painting, less with faces. A landscape of a desert is quite beautiful. A pencil sketch of Dolly Parton seems to steal your soul. Paul McCartney eating kale will cost you years of your life.

AI Art Creator

Here is a cat made of lasers.

Erin Carson/Dall-E Mini

However, Dayma said the model is training (that the ability to learn is one of the things people love — and fear — about AI), meaning it can improve over time. And with Dall-E Mini’s viral popularity, the point of finding the most outlandish image you can imagine isn’t necessarily to get a perfect impressionistic rendering of a Waffle House. The fun is more in coming up with the most bizarre photos that don’t exist – that perhaps shouldn’t exist – and bringing them to a cursed existence.

Dall-E also comments that image generation can have a less fun side and can be used to “strengthen or exacerbate societal prejudices.”

Is Dall-E Mini related to Dall-E 2?

No, they are not associated. Dall-E 2 is also an AI image generation tool launched as a research project this year. It was created by the AI ​​research and implementation company OpenAI and is not generally available.

What kind of images do people make?

On social media, you can find many strange Dall-E Mini creations, from Thanos in a Walmart searching for his mother to Jar Jar Binks winning the Great British Bake Off. Here are some other highlights.

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