As of January 2021, advances in AI research have led to a plethora of deep learning models capable of generating original images from simple text prompts, effectively expanding the human imagination. Researchers at OpenAIGoogle, Facebook and others have developed text-to-image tools that they have not yet released to the public, and similar models have proliferated online in the open source arena and at smaller companies such as half way through the journey†
These tools represent a huge cultural shift as they remove the requirement for technical labor from the image creation process. Instead, they select for creative ideas, skillful use of language, and curatorial taste. The ultimate consequences are difficult to predict, but – like the invention of the camera and the digital camera after that – these algorithms herald a new, democratized form of expression that will cause a new explosion in the amount of images produced by humans. But like other automated systems trained on historical data and internet images, they also pose risks that have not been resolved.
The video above is a primer on how we got here, how this technology works, and some of the implications. And for an in-depth discussion of what this means for human artists, designers and illustrators, watch this bonus video:
You can find this video and all the others cafemadrid’s videos on our YouTube channel†