It’s that time of the year, my friends. We’re filling up on eggnog, turkey, and Christmas pudding (or rakija, sarma, and vanilice here in Serbia), doing the last-minute shopping, and arguing with family at the dinner table. But other than that, we’re also summing up the year that’s soon to be behind us. And here at DIYP, we look back at our favorite posts from the past year.
2022 was also huge for AI technology. This doesn’t only include text-to-image generators and their wide availability – but everything that people have created with them, as well as some potential issues AI-generated content might bring. We can’t deny that the world of art is changing with the arrival of AI-driven programs. It seems to me that they’re here to stay, especially after so many news and stories we’ve seen in 2022 in this field. So, we decided to dedicate this recap to top ten AI-related stories of the year that’s soon to be behind us.
Text-to-image generator DALL-E was released in April 2022, blowing our minds with its capabilities. It didn’t take long before it became available to everyone for playing with it, and even to developers to include its API in their apps. It also made it possible to expand images beyond their borders… And even Adobe soon introduced a similar tool that can “uncrop” your photos.
When Jason Allen’s won the Digital Arts/Digitally-Manipulated Photography category of a fine arts competition, it made the artistic community furious. He used Midjourney to create it, causing an outrage among illustrators, painters, and photographers. But you can see this win as an experiment sowing us how much, and how quickly the world of art is changing.
AI can’t only read your words – it can also read your mind (cue the dramatic music)! Researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands have developed and demonstrated a technology that turns your thoughts into photographic images. In more scientific terms, it reads your brainwaves, and does it with creepy and impressive accuracy.
AI-based programs will definitely make some processes faster and cheaper in the movie industry, and Disney has a prefect example. The company researchers have developed AI that makes actors appear younger or older in seconds. It can spark a debate whether we’ll need CGI at all in the future… or even real actors? But for now, I think it will just have Disney come up with even more prequels, sequels, and spin-offs of Star Wars and other movies and shows.
A part of making text-to-image generators available to wide public is adding them to programs used by that same wide public. And Canva, in my opinion, is a perfect example. The company integrated an AI-generator and released it in November – just in time for making some, very cursed, holiday cards. I had so much fun!
AI has definitely a topic of debate this year, both from the artistic and ethical side. And like every technology, it has its pros and cons. For photographers, some AI-based tools are heaven-sent. For example, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used Adobe’s smart selections in Photoshop and Lightroom since they were launched. Also, there are some AI-generated artworks that are just stunning. On the other hand, AI could replace some creative jobs in the future, and there can be some ethical concerns too: sexualized images, nonconsensual nudes, child abuse content… We discussed it all in this article.
While we’re at the bad sides of AI-generated images, one of the most commonly mentioned ones is the creation of nude images. There’s now even a website selling such “photos” of non-existent women, and it’s as bizarre as it is concerning. Once again, we discussed the good and bad sides of something like this and frankly, in this case, I mainly see the bad ones.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear someone’s voice, I always have a vision of how they look. Well, apparently I’m not the only one, since a group of scientists developed AI that does the same. It reconstructs your portrait based on your voice, and while it’s kinda creepy, I think it’s also pretty cool.
Growing up to classic rock music, it has always remained my favorite genre. However, I’ve always felt a little sad that I’d never have a chance to see some of my music heroes live, like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, or Freddie Mercury. But thanks to AI and this interesting project by Alper Yesiltas, at least I can see what they would look like if they lived long enough to grow old. For me, this is a very moving series of images and a good example how AI-generated imagery can be used in a good way.
It seems that text-to-image generators and other AI tools became widely available overnight. So, Udi played with a pretty interesting tool named Dreambooth and created some freaky AI selfies. In this article, he gives you step-by-step instructions if you’d like to make your own. And you can also check out this article from Alex to see MyHeritage’s “AI Time Machine” and how it sees you in different periods in history.
We can’t go without mentioning some of the cool, creepy, and interesting stuff people created using AI. Some photographers recreated their work using text-to-image generators. Some folks turned song lyrics and children’s stories into images. And some imagined things that didn’t exist, like these crazy looking cameras.
Megaportraits turns your photos into creepily accurate deepfake videos: this is one of those kinds of AI-generated content that terrifies me, like those talking paintings in Harry Potter. I guess there’s just something about talking paintings that makes me uncomfortable… But I admit it’s still pretty epic and it left an impression on me, so I had to include it.
Stock photos of AI-generated humans are available for licensing for the first time: this is one of the breakthroughs in the industry of AI-generated content. It’s not in the top ten list simply because there are stories that I personally preferred – but it had to be mentioned.
Is your life boring? No problem, fake it with AI like this guy did: here’s another example how AI-generated work can be used for the bad. While I’m sure Kyle Vorbach only did it as a social experiment, it’s a frightening reminder how easy it is to fake everything nowadays… And that it’s becoming easier. So, keep your mind and critical thinking sharp and don’t ever compare yourself to others and their lives on social media – they are now more fake then ever.