A host of new artificial intelligence (AI) driven services are letting anyone create art, and even sell them as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) online. Mint explains how they work, the scope of such services, and possible misuse.
How does AI manage to create art?
In 2014, a research scientist at Alphabet-owned DeepMind created a new form of algorithms, called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). GANs use two neural networks, called “generators” and “discriminators” which are ‘adversarial’ to each other. While the former creates fake images, the latter catches them. An output is generated when the generator beats the discriminator. Eight years since the first GAN, researchers and AI firms have made these algorithms available to the general public, allowing anyone to create art with them, in return increasing the training data that they get.
What are the options consumers can use?
While the highest quality tools are paid and available only to a limited few, there are plenty of free options that anyone can explore. For example, DeepAI, a US-based AI startup, offers both image and text generation to users for free. Others include Hotpot AI, Pixray and Midjourney. The last one is likely the most popular right now, and allows users to create images through its Discord group. It has also been likened to Dall-E, a limited-access algorithm created by Elon Musk-backed AI research firm OpenAI.
How does one get to use these systems?
For most of these tools, it is as simple as opening your email or replying to a tweet. DeepAI, Hotpot and Pixray have websites with text boxes where you can type what you please, and wait for the image to be generated. Pixray has advanced features, where if you are a developer and have built an AI model using Python, a paid services lets you try your AI model to create an image. Midjourney creates four images on a text prompt, from which users can select one and upgrade to high resolution.
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