Stable Diffusion Is the Most Important AI Art Model Ever
Credit: HollyB#1382 (portrait)Earlier this week the company Stability.ai, founded and funded by Emad Mostaque, announced the public release of the AI art model Stable Diffusion. You may think this is just another day in the AI art world, but it’s much more than that. Two reasons. First, unlike DALL·E 2 and Midjourney—comparable quality-wise—, Stable Diffusion is available as open-source. This means anyone can take its backbone and build, for free, apps targeted for specific text-to-image creativity tasks.People are already developing Google Colabs (by Deforum and Pharmapsychotic), a Figma plugin to create designs from prompts, and Lexica.art, a prompt/image/seed search engine. Also, the devs at Midjourney implemented a feature that allowed users to combine it with Stable Diffusion, which led to some amazing results (it’s no longer active, but may soon be once they figure out how to control potentially harmful generations):As I’m writing these words, not 72 hours have passed since Stable Diffusion was released. Just imagine what’s coming out in the next weeks/months.Second, unlike DALL·E mini (Craiyon) and Disco Diffusion—comparable openness-wise—, Stable Diffusion can create amazing photorealistic and artistic artworks that have nothing to envy OpenAI’s or Google’s models. People are even claiming it is the new state-of-the-art among “generative search engines,” as Mostaque likes to call them.For you to get a sense of Stable Diffusion’s artistic mastery, I’ll sprinkle the article with some of my favorite artworks that I’ve found on the communities of the discord server (unless stated otherwise, all images are created via Stable Diffusion).Credit: ai_coo#2852 (street art)Stable Diffusion embodies the best features of the AI art world: it’s arguably the best existing AI art model and open source. That’s simply unheard of and will have enormous consequences.In this newsletter, I often write about AI that’s at the research stage—years away from being embedded into everyday products. Those articles may be interesting but not very useful. Stable Diffusion is an example of an AI model that’s at the very intersection of research and the real world—interesting and useful. Developers are already building apps you will soon use in your work or for fun.Interestingly, the news about those services may get to you through the most unexpected sources. Your parents, your children, your partner, your friends, or your work colleagues—people who are often outsiders to what’s happening in AI—are about to discover the latest trend in the field. Art may be the way by which AI technology finally knocks on the door of those who are otherwise oblivious to a future that’s falling upon them. Isn’t it poetic?Credit: HollyB#1382 (seascape)Stability.ai was born to create “open AI tools that will let us reach our potential.” Not just research models that never get into the hands of the majority, but tools with real-world applications open for me and you to use and explore. That’s a shift from other tech companies like OpenAI, which is jealously guarding the secrets of its best systems (GPT-3 and DALL·E 2), or Google who has never intended to even release its own (PaLM, LaMDA, Imagen, or Parti) as private betas. I heard rumors about Stability.ai a few months back that they wanted to build an alternative to DALL·E 2, and they ended up doing much more.Emad Mostaque learned from OpenAI’s mistakes. The absolutely viral success of Craiyon—despite its lower quality—put in evidence DALL·E’s shortcomings as a closed beta. » Read More
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