The waitlist is over, DALL·E 2 is now open to everyone. Have you tried it? You really should. It feels like magic. In your own words, using descriptive language (e.g. “A dutch golden era painting wide angle view of a penguin riding a skateboard on the streets of Delft Netherlands in 1660”), the AI system interprets your meaning based on its vast image dataset wherein DALL·E can combine concepts, attributes, and styles to interpret a scene on your behalf.
From OpenAI: “DALL·E 2 has learned the relationship between images and the text used to describe them. It uses a process called “diffusion,” which starts with a pattern of random dots and gradually alters that pattern towards an image when it recognizes specific aspects of that image.”
We’re now witnessing the pushback on AI image generation and philosophical debates about what this all means, does it really generate a wholly new image, or is it a composite of copyrighted works, does it pass the subjective “fair use” test, does it currently perpetuate bias (yes, kinda), will it replace concept designers and other artists (no, it won’t)? It’s a familiar and repeated concern that AI is meant to replace skilled workers. And in the case of DALL·E and other image generation services, there are timely ethical concerns about putting powerful photo-realistic image generation tools into the hands of bad actors.
At its core and at its best, DALL·E is a collaborator, it’s a discovery tool, it’s the video game I’ve been waiting for my entire life. But most of all, DALL·E is a slot machine for your imagination. Roughly 13 cents per click of the DALL·E “generate” button and the AI can shock you with its understanding of your composition goals and imaginative intentions. Yet, sometimes, it fails magnificently. You win some, you lose some, hence the slot machine reference.
AI cannot replace expertise in composition or color theory that’s right for your art or brand strategy, and it will not replace the premium we place on the imagination of experienced professionals, but it may drastically shorten the ideation and conceptual design phase for any project. If you’ve been dependent on revenue from change orders because your client wants to see more options, you better hope they’ve never heard of DALL·E.
DALL·E has instantly democratized concept art design and collaboration. Some of the same artists shouting into the void that AI will devalue them or replace them are the same artists who post memes about clients who don’t know what they want or can’t communicate their vision. DALL·E is immediately capable of serving as a translator for these universally-acknowledged difficult conversations.
DALL·E has the ability to become a designer’s favorite co-conspirator, AI never tires of trying something new or generating alternatives design ideas. It exists to serve you and your imagination. DALL·E is a powerful example of how humans will explore, interpret, and communicate their imaginations with deeply satisfying and accessible natural language tooling.