What is Midjourney and what can you do with it?

AI app Midjourney is in the news all the time. It works much like Dall-E, but is able to impersonate celebrities. With all its consequences: this week a journalist got into trouble who had faked images of Donald Trump who was supposedly arrested via Midjourney. What exactly is that Midjourney and what can it do: we dive into it.

Dall-E and Midjourney

Like Dall-E, Midjourney is an AI tool that allows you to generate an image based on a short description. The artificial intelligence understands what you say and will generate multiple examples of images based on your description. The software was conceived in San Francisco and is based on the Stable Diffusion technology. There is a connection between Midjourney and Discord, as Discord is the way to create prompts (by typing /imagine first). Version 5 of Midjourney has just been released: it appeared on March 16.

Midjourney is controversial. For example, there are various artists and other artists who say that the technology has been trained with their work, without having seen a penny of this. In any case, artists have a lot against this kind of technology: after all, it does many things that an artist normally does. While a real artist still adds a lot of value, for a quick draft it’s actually easier to use Dall-E or Midjourney to create an image. Illustrations for children’s books have even been made with Midjourney (Alice and Sparkle for example). A lawsuit is now underway by multiple artists to challenge Midjourney’s use of their work for his training. The images were allegedly taken from the web and used without permission.

Trump and the Pope

Unlike Dall-E, Midjourney can do much more. Dall-E indicates a little earlier that it cannot meet your request, while Midjourney is a little less framed. This allowed a journalist, for example, to take a photo in Midjourney of President Donald Trump being arrested. Eliot Higgins of investigative journalism site Bellingcat used Midjourney to envision what Trump’s arrest would look like and posted the result on Twitter. In the end, Midjourney turned out to have banned Higgins and it is now no longer possible to ask for an image of someone being arrested.

Midjourney was also in the news this week by the Pope. He was ‘photographed’ in a kind of hip white puffer coat. Nope: it was a Midjourney result that went completely viral (and apparently quite credible). It seems that Midjourney has a problem with people: for example, Dall-E can’t make known people, only random people. Midjourney is capable of making people like Trump and the Pope. As nice as it is to do that, and as good as it is that this tool shows how dangerous such a deepfake-like image can be, it might be better to remove famous people from this tool altogether. It saves the world a lot of turmoil.

AI artworks

Furthermore, Midjourney is mainly used to create beautiful works of art. They are sometimes even entered in art competitions. So there is plenty of experimentation with the app and you can do that yourself by joining the beta. You do this by registering on this site and then getting started via Discord. The question is how long you can still make people in this app, or maybe even how long you can use the app at all, if artists have their way. Have fun!

Laura Jenny

When she’s not tapping, she’s traveling around the wonderful world of entertainment or some cool place in the real world. Mario is the man of her life,…

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