In Layman's Terms
In Layman's Terms
DALL-E 2 is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is capable of creating images from regular text that users create. If you’ve ever had your doubts about whether or not the 21st century is as cool as it is depicted in decades-old movies, this software just might be the piece of technology to blow your mind.
The team behind DALL-E 2 is probably one of the world’s best AI research companies. Co-founded by Elon Musk, OpenAI chose the name ‘DALL-E’ as a homage to revered surrealist painter Salvador Dali and the beloved Pixar animation, Wall-E.
DALL-E 2 is especially impressive because it is a step above what most people might consider being passable. Here, the OpenAI team has made many strides toward perfection, resulting in some images that are almost indistinguishable from real-life. It takes inspiration from reference images, but the output in the DALL-E 2 graphics is completely original, generating new images in a matter of seconds.
Rather than providing a single artistic interpretation of your text, this iteration from DALL-E 2 will generate 10 different graphic variations, each with its own take on your concept. To further emphasize a particular look, you can suggest certain art techniques such as “90s cartoon” to give DALL-E 2 a place to anchor its interpretations.
The above graphic was created by DALL-E-2
DALL-E is a pretty new concept in the tech space. The original version first made an appearance back in January 2021 and within a year, DALL-E-2 was ready for a showcase across various corners of the internet. The speed at which this technology has evolved is highly impressive and indicative of the power AI and machine learning possess.
DALL-E 2 takes things a step further compared to other ML software thanks to its ability to learn and create interpretations based on the relationship between different objects. With DALL-E, we can finally get a glimpse into how an AI sees our own world, and be better informed on how to improve it further, provide contextual guidance and create an unbiased look for everyone. In DALL-E 2, a process called “diffusion” is what primarily helps the software create the superb images that are generated. Diffusion is a process that makes a random pattern of dots and gradually reiterates the patterns until it becomes an image that is similar to the natural language text description you entered.
As a jack of all trades in artistic impressions, DALL-E 2 is pretty much ready for real-world uses. As it is slowly being rolled out in different spaces, there are no fully realized plans for a public release. In fact, we might never even get one when you consider certain concerns that we will address later on in this article. Still, the DALL-E 2 can be even better than its already impressive modern version through a slow-release process. By bringing it to little pockets of individuals within different industries, there can be controlled feedback and heavily monitored growth for the AI. This improves its safety and allows users to learn a lot more about how it works.
According to Aditya Ramesh (the creator of DALL-E and co-creator of DALL-E 2), the team’s intention is to put the research into the hands of people for now to get feedback on how they are using the platform. However, they are also interested in deploying it widely. Ultimately, it seems like there are no plans for commercialization, and that might be for the best.
The DALL-E 2 AI is the result of a research project. While it sounds like an amazing goldmine for the company, if it is released to the public, there are very strong ethical concerns that supersede the potential pros we could find.
Typically, AI systems are trained based on real-world human data. It evolves and improves based on this data, but it ultimately lacks the level of contextual understanding that is very important for human relations. With millions of images found and scraped from the web, DALL-E 2 has many biases that have been inherited, and need to be addressed convincingly before commercialization can even be considered.
For one, in a similar vein to deep fakes, DALL-E 2 can be used to create fake scenarios that seem indistinguishable from real life. To address this, the OpenAI team has engineered the current versions of the program to avoid input related to a specific identity of a person. This way, people can’t simply create imagined scenarios and present them to the public. The dangers of something like that in an age where casual misinformation is popularly spread could be alarming.
Although strides are being taken to help avoid a negative impact from DALL-E 2, some scenarios are still unaccounted for with the AI. Searching for images of certain professions might see cultural and ethnic biases. For example, a simple search for “Lawyers” will present mostly white men. For obvious reasons, this could reinforce certain ideas that some groups are the default identity for certain terms. On the flip side, certain groups receive negative biases such as Muslims who have their interpretations biased toward violence and terrorism.
Given the context of how society views some groups, it’s not difficult to see why this AI has adopted this safety measure. Yet, the teams can learn from these biases and keep the AI within control groups who are constantly working to create an unbiased and societally useful program.
Certain fields could see vast leaps in their brainstorming processes thanks to DALL-E 2. With this AI by the side of artists, they can save a lot of time considering angles and interpretations. Instead, the AI will give them a solid baseline to begin their pieces with. By doing this, artists will also be able to think outside the box. With 10 possible variations presented at once.
Similarly, DALL-E 2 will be amazing for storyboarding and learning at schools. Rather than spending an entire evening coming up with examples of certain graphics for students, teachers could just use DALL-E 2 for a good impression of what they are thinking about. In turn, kids will be able to learn in a much more delightful way. Bloggers and content creators will find DALL-E 2 useful as well. Think about the added value to a website when all of its images are original and unique. The high-resolution images and realism in many of its images are impressive enough to become a standard across multiple industries.
AI has taken many leaps forward in recent years, and the future is brighter than ever for many professionals. However, there is still quite a bit of work to do before humanity is ready for unrestrained access to its potential.