DALL·E 2 Opens to the Public: You Too Can Generate Distorted “Photos”


Among the AI image rendering programs being heavily mentioned in the media recently, DALL·E 2 is one of the more famous names, but it was also one of the less accessible. Now, this is no longer the case.

The AI platform, which was available only to a restricted list of users, has now been opened up to the general public by its creators, Open AI.

Previously, the image-generating AI platform had a wait list restriction for anyone hoping to get their hands on trials with it.

It can now be used by anyone at all to generate images that are rendered by its internal AI through text prompts. Users can also use the program to edit their own human-created images in new ways.

 It’s not as if DALL·E 2 was the only major option available to the public for AI image rendering, but interesting examples of the program’s creations on the Open AI website made many people curious about giving it a spin to see how it stacked up against rival programs.

A very limited tool for generating your own visuals was also available on the site that let you work with a select list of text prompts, but again, this was pretty limited. Now that all of these rules are gone and the full program is available, anyone can sign up and many people presumably have.

As Digital Camera World recently reported, efforts at playing with the site can yield variable results. In some cases, images created with the full program don’t come close to matching any hype about AI taking over the photography world. In other cases, the backend AI can be remarkably good at its job.

One of the key elements to using DALL·E 2 effectively for strong results is in being as specific as possible with the inputted text prompts. This is sort of unsurprising when working with any computer program since they usually work best with precise instructions.

Another cool thing that DALL·E 2 lets users do is upload their existing photos to the platform and then instruct the AI to modify them in different ways.

However, even in these cases, where there’s a real photo to work with, the platform can create pretty strange or downright creepy results if instructed badly. On the other hand, it can also edit or recreate real photos in pretty interesting ways:

Image credit: Open AI

Another practical application that Open AI describes for DALL·E 2 is using the AI to edit real photos by adding AI-generated images of things into them for uses such as interior design:

If you want to conduct your own photo editing or generating experiments with the site, you too can sign up on the Open AI website with nothing more than your email address.

The platform will give you 50 free credits for the first month and 15 more each month after that. Each credit can be used for one image render search but the results produce four images each. Further credits cost about a dollar per ten of them or $15 per month for 115 credits.

While we haven’t yet tried DALL·E 2, our experiments with other major photo rendering programs have shown that they’re still far from being able to perfectly replicate real photos in a realistic way.

The results we and others have generated so far more often than not look either lightly distorted or veer right into nightmare territory.

This however doesn’t mean that AI photo rendering won’t be able to generate perfectly photorealistic images. This technology has improved enormously in the last year and is still in its infancy.

The results it delivers in the next couple of years or more could be startlingly good and at least heavily upset large sections of the human-generated photography industry, as well as illustration art creation.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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