AI image maker Midjourney stops free trials

The AI image maker behind many hyper realistic images that were mistaken for photos of real news events said a rise in users was behind the decision

Published - April 01, 2023 03:14 pm IST

File photo of a Midjourney-generated image, falsely depicting the arrest of Donald Trump

File photo of a Midjourney-generated image, falsely depicting the arrest of Donald Trump | Photo Credit: Midjourney

The AI-powered text-to-image generator Midjourney said it is stopping free trials due to the rising number of people creating disposable accounts in order to generate images without paying for them.

Midjourney CEO David Holz said on Discord that “extraordinary demand and trial abuse” was behind the decision. The AI picture maker has various subscription plans for users and pulled over 13 million members in the past year, according to a Washington Post report.

The news comes as hyper realistic images generated with Midjourney went viral on Twitter, as users mistook them for photos of true media events. One set of pictures generated by a journalist showed former U.S. President Donald Trump being arrested by police officers. A photo of Pope Francis in a stylish white jacket was also widely shared by those who believed it was real.

Another text-to-image generator, DALL-E, which was developed by ChatGPT-maker OpenAI also allows users to generate images for free, but has a system of credits that are exhausted and replenished every month to limit user activity. Users can pay for more image generation privileges.

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While AI-generated images were previously recognisable due to incorrect body details or digital distortions, their models are evolving in order to generate more realistic pictures that can be mistaken for actual photographs.

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