Digital image creation
As the old saying goes, “Seeing is believing…” But we’ll get back to that. Digital image creation is going through mind-blowing development, as we speak.
Text in. Image out.
The new age of AI has officially begun. A new system called DALL•E 2 by OpenAI transforms text descriptions into realistic looking images and art. Scraping enormous quantities of data, DALL•E 2 can merge totally unrelated concepts and generate new digital images. Instantly.
It can edit shadows, reflections, and textures. It can create variations of or extend the original style of an image.1 Honestly, for designers and developers – anyone, actually – this is like magic.
Lots of companies such as AISEO Art, Stable Diffusion, Nightcafe and MidJourney now offer AI image generators. And free trials.
Seeing is believing?
As amazing and fun as it as to play around with these new digital images, be aware of the dark side. It’s simpler than ever to create images with the intention of deceiving. Even now with a trained professional eye, it can be hard to tell a fake image from a real one.
That old saying says more: “Seeing is believing, though, of all our senses, the eyes are the most easily deceived.” 2
They became what they beheld
This is the title of a book from 1970 by Edmund Carpenter, who explored the impact of media and culture on human sensibility. Carpenter’s colleague and co-author Marshall McLuhan said that the medium is the message. Fifty years later, both observations seem truer than ever.
Do we believe everything we see? Are new technologies becoming more important than the content they convey? Will visual artists be able to retain the rights to their own style? Are tech developers shaping a global imagery for tomorrow?
Huge ideas to chew on.
Which reminds us of the cartoonist James Thurber, who penned his own version of that saying: “Seeing is deceiving. It’s eating that’s believing.”
1 OpenAI https://openai.com/dall-e-2/
2 Guesses at Truth by Julius Charles Hare and Augustus William Hare, London 1827, from the collections of Oxford University
3 James Thurber, Further Fables for Our Time, 1956