Should Marketers Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) Image Generation

Just like many of us were first introduced to deep fakes by way of social media trends or seemingly silly apps, at first, AI Image Generators seems like just a toy – a way to pass the time on your smart phone.

But, just as deep fakes have opened up so many opportunities in so many industries, AI Image Generators, too, can mean something new on the horizon for creatives – especially in the field of graphic design – an integral component of the execution team for marketers.

The most prominent team in the AI Image Generation game is OpenAI.  This research and deployment company’s mission is to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.  Although Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, was part of the group of initial founders, he no longer sits on the board but continues to donate and support this remarkable corporation.

OpenAI’s image generation programme is called Dall-E – a combination of Salvador Dali (the famous painter) and Wall-E (the adorable robot from a Pixar movie). The Dall-E software takes a word prompt – that is any line of text that describes an image – and then produces that image in a unique way. Dall-E can also produce multiple versions of the image in different styles, be it photo-realistic versions or in the style of certain artists or mediums, like charcoal or paint on canvas.

Basically, this AI has learned which words describes which images and can reverse engineer that by producing graphics based on word inputs into a system.

Because AI Image Generators produce work that is completely unique, there is no issue of copyright. The images can be sold commercially as they belong to whoever created them.  So, as a marketer, should you be looking into this tool to add to the toolbox of your graphic designers?  Perhaps as a springboard to spark the imagination and get an initial brainstorm going.  Maybe it can work as a briefing tool for clients who are not creatively inclined but can use the program to give the team an initial idea of the pictures in their minds, then hand over to the designers to clean up and take those ideas to the next level.

As with all new tech, we can think about many possibilities, but only time will tell if they can all be put into practice. There is also the chance that clients would want to forgo the expertise and capabilities of experienced professionals altogether and opt for the quick and easy – yet not as polished – option as the technology isn’t quite there yet when it comes to capability and availability. Open AI are also exploring the possibility of offering this tech to businesses and developers so that apps can be built on top of this system.

OpenAI initially only made Dall-E available to an exclusive waitlist so they can monitor growth, performance, and develop safety procedures. But recently they have opened it to be public! Dall-E has over 1.5 million active users who generate more than 2 million images per day. Now, everyone can be a part of that. When you sign up, for a free (with phone number verification), Open AI will give you 50 credits per month. Creating four images (by inputting your text prompts) will cost you one credit. Additional credits are available for purchase. But Open AI is not the only research and development lab on the block. Other companies have programs, but the standards might not be the same. Struggles include lower image resolution, higher latency (the image takes a longer time to generate) and the software can “misunderstand” words – for example slang, colloquialisms or words with double meanings (like “black hole” – is it a cosmic body or an empty space?). So, though your graphic designers are not in danger of being replaced by AI image generators just yet, there are some out there, other than Dall-E, that you can try:

Starry AI
Dream By Wombo
Deep Dream Generator
Deep AI

Here are some fascinating videos (under 4 minutes!)

Intro to Dall-E from Fireship

AI Generated Music Video from Solar Prophet

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