The Rise of AI Image Generation: What It Is & How Content Creators Can Use It
It’s a casual weekday, you’re scrolling through your socials, and suddenly… there it is.
Instead of a curated carousel of the latest fashion looks, you stop scrolling at a photo of a dress made entirely out of pizza. You might think to yourself, “WTF is this?” And why does it look so… weirdly realistic?
The bizarre pizza dress isn’t actually real – despite the influencer styling and aesthetic filter. It’s the product of an AI tool called MidJourney, and it’s just one example of the kinds of images that can be generated by artificial intelligence.
Below is the exact query I used to come up with this outlandish composition:
What exactly is AI image generation?
In short, it’s a process whereby machine learning algorithms and AI models are used to produce high quality and vibrant images based on textual input. And yes, it’s as strange and as futuristic as it sounds.
So, in the case of #pizzadress, the AI was fed the text, “an Instagram influencer posing in the street, wearing a dress made out of pizza, realistic.” MidJourney then generated an image of what it thought that might look like.
AI image generation is similar to “generative art” – a term that refers to any art created by a machine.
However, text-to-image generation takes things a step further by using deep learning, natural language processing, and neural methods for computer vision to create the images, rather than just following programming.
This type of AI isn’t limited to pictures of things that don’t exist in real life. It can be used to create realistic images of people, places, and things. And as you can imagine, this has a ton of potential implications for content marketing.
But before we get into use cases for marketers, let’s take a look at the platforms that are making AI image generation possible.
AI image generation platforms
DALL-E is an open-source platform that enables users to generate images from textual descriptions, using a 12-billion parameter training version of the GPT-3 transformer model.
DALL-E was one of the first and most prominent players in AI image generation, releasing a beta platform earlier this year. It continues to be one of the most popular and user-friendly platforms for AI images, with relatively fast processing and consistently high quality output.
MidJourney is another AI image generation platform that has been gaining popularity in recent months, with its first public beta going live in July 2022.
In a traditional sense, MidJourney may be considered a competitor to DALL-E because it provides comparable text-to-image AI generation – but it’s more well known for its artistic style and requires only a short textual input for stunning results.
The only catch? It requires Discord as all prompts are submitted to the MidJourney bot via text commands. The resulting output appears as a Discord message response from the bot.
Tech writer Daniel Miessler made a comparison on the difference between the DALL-E and MidJourney:
The easiest way to answer that is to say that Midjourney is like using a Mac. And DALL-E is like using the Linux command line. This is true in three main dimensions:
1. Ease of Use: Midjourney does better with simpler prompts.
2. Weaker But Safer: Midjourney is less powerful, but does better if you are lazy.
3. A Bias Towards Beauty: Midjourney produces better-looking output with very little effort.danielmiessler.com
Jasper Art is the newest AI image generation tool to emerge on the scene and it’s already getting attention for its user-friendly interface and realistic image output.
The tool is a product of Jasper.ai, an AI copywriting tool that was launched in January 2021 (a tool we love, BTW!). For creators who are already using Jasper or a similar AI tool for content production, it could be worth exploring Jasper Art as a way to package your tools together.
Jasper Art & Write: $49/mo
AI image use cases for content creators
If you regularly work with digital content, you know that finding the right image can be half the battle. So what can AI image generation do to make life a little bit easier? Here are a few possible applications:
Brainstorming and ideation
Ever have a case of creator’s block? (It’s like writer’s block – but for all types of content). An AI image generator can help break through it by producing ideas and concepts for content with visual cues.
Featured images and thumbnails
One of the biggest challenges for content creators is finding the right image to accurately represent a post, video, or article. With AI image generation, you can type exactly what you’re looking for as a text prompt to get a custom image aligned with your message.
Social media posts
AI image generation tools can also be used to produce custom images for social. This can be a great way to grab people’s attention and stand out from the competition.
Another application for AI image generation is creating images for ads. This can be a great way to make your ads more eye-catching and memorable.
AI image gallery
Take a peek at what AI can do: