AI art generator

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Original author(s)Midjourney
Initial release2022

Midjourney is an independent research lab that produces an artificial intelligence program under the same name that creates images from textual descriptions, similar to OpenAI's DALL-E and Stable Diffusion.[1][2] It is speculated that the underlying technology is based on Stable Diffusion.[3] The tool is currently in open beta, which it entered on July 12, 2022.[4] The Midjourney team is led by David Holz, who co-founded Leap Motion.[5] Holz told The Register in August 2022 that the company was already profitable.[6] Users create artwork with Midjourney using Discord bot commands.[7]


Midjourney was founded by David Holz, co-founder of Leap Motion. It first entered open beta on July 12, 2022.[4] However, on March 14, 2022, the discord server launched with a request to post high-quality photographs to Twitter/Reddit for system's training.

The company has been working on improving its algorithms, releasing new versions every few months. Version 2 of their algorithm was launched in April 2022 [8] and version 3 in July.[9] On November 10, 2022, the alpha iteration of version 4 was released to users.[10]


Midjourney is currently only accessible through a Discord bot on their official Discord, by direct messaging the bot, or by inviting the bot to a third party server. To generate images, users use the /imagine command and type in a prompt; the bot then returns a set of four images. Users may then choose which images they want to upscale. Midjourney is also working on a web interface.[11]


Founder David Holz says he sees artists as customers, not competitors of Midjourney. Holz told The Register that artists use Midjourney for rapid prototyping of artistic concepts to show to clients before starting work themselves.[6] Because Midjourney's training set may include copyrighted artists' works, some artists have accused Midjourney of devaluing original creative work.[12] Midjourney's terms of service includes a DMCA takedown policy, allowing artists to request their work to be removed from the set, if they believe copyright infringement to be evident.[13]

The advertising industry has been quick to embrace AI tools such as Midjourney, DALL-E, and Stable Diffusion, among others. The tools, which enable advertisers to create original content and brainstorm ideas quickly are providing new opportunities such as "custom ads created for individuals, a new way to create special effects, or even making e-commerce advertising more efficient", according to Ad Age.

Notable usage and controversy

The program was used by the British magazine The Economist to create the front cover for an issue in June 2022.[14][15] In Italy, the leading newspaper Corriere della Sera published a comic created with Midjourney by writer Vanni Santoni in August 2022.[16] Charlie Warzel used Midjourney to generate two images of Alex Jones for Warzel's newsletter in The Atlantic. The use of an AI-generated cover was criticised by people who felt it was taking jobs from artists. Warzel called his action a "mistake" in an article about his decision to use generated images.[17] Last Week Tonight with John Oliver included a 10-minute segment on Midjourney in an episode broadcast in August 2022.[18][19]

A Midjourney image called Théâtre d'Opéra Spatial won first place in the digital art competition at the 2022 Colorado State Fair. Jason Allen, who wrote the prompt that led Midjourney to generate the image, printed the image onto a canvas and entered it into the competition using the name "Jason M. Allen via Midjourney". Other digital artists were upset by the news.[12] Allen was unapologetic, insisting that he followed the competition's rules. The two category judges were unaware that Midjourney used AI to generate images, although they later said that had they known this, they would have awarded Allen the top prize anyway.[20] This event was similar to one described in the 1958 short story "Thing of Beauty" by Damon Knight. In the story, a man uses a machine to generate the winning image in an art competition. As in the Colorado incident, the judges in the story did not realize that the image was created by machine.

In December 2022, Midjourney was used to create the images in an AI-generated children's book in the span of a weekend. Titled Alice and Sparkle, the book features a young girl who builds a robot that becomes self-aware. The creator, Ammaar Reeshi, spent hours tweaking Midjourney prompts, rejecting hundreds of generated results to ultimately choose 13 illustrations for the book.[21] Both the product and process drew criticism: “the main problem... is that it was trained off of artists’ work. It’s our creations, our distinct styles that we created, that we did not consent to being used," one artist wrote.[22]


In January 2023, three artists: Sarah Andersen, Kelly McKernan, and Karla Ortiz filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Stability AI, Midjourney, and DeviantArt, claiming that these companies have infringed the rights of millions of artists by training AI tools on five billion images scraped from the web without the consent of the original artists.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Huge "foundation models" are turbo-charging AI progress". The Economist. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  2. ^ Hertzmann, Aaron. "Give this AI a few words of description and it produces a stunning image – but is it art?". The Conversation. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  3. ^ starstruckmon (2022-08-23). "New MidJourney Beta is using Stable Difussion under the hood". r/StableDiffusion. Retrieved 2023-01-26.
  4. ^ a b @midjourney (July 12, 2022). "We're officially moving to open-beta! Join now at discord.gg/midjourney. **Please read our directions carefully** or check out our detailed how-to guides here: midjourney.gitbook.io/docs. Most importantly, have fun!" (Tweet). Retrieved August 31, 2022 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Rose, Janus (July 18, 2022). "Inside Midjourney, The Generative Art AI That Rivals DALL-E". Vice.
  6. ^ a b Claburn, Thomas (August 1, 2022). "Holz, founder of AI art service Midjourney, on future images". The Register. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  7. ^ Hachman, Mark (July 26, 2022). "Midjourney's enthralling AI art generator goes live for everyone". PCWorld. Retrieved September 5, 2022.
  8. ^ Tweet from @Midjourney
  9. ^ Tweet from @Midjourney
  10. ^ "Midjourney v4 greatly improves the award-winning image creation AI". TechSpot. Retrieved 2022-11-17.
  11. ^ Steen, Charles (January 4, 2023). ""Midjourney Is Allegedly Working on a Web Interface"". Easy With AI.
  12. ^ a b Gault, Matthew (August 31, 2022). "An AI-Generated Artwork Won First Place at a State Fair Fine Arts Competition, and Artists Are Pissed". Motherboard. Vice. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  13. ^ Midjourney documentation[dead link]
  14. ^ "How a computer designed this week's cover". The Economist. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  15. ^ Liu, Gloria (21 June 2022). "DALL-E 2 Made Its First Magazine Cover". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  16. ^ "Su "La Lettura", Highsmith inedita e le città che mutano". Corriere della Sera.
  17. ^ "I Went Viral in the Bad Way". Galaxy Brain. 2022-08-17. Retrieved 2022-08-31.
  18. ^ SFGATE, Dan Gentile (August 16, 2022). "John Oliver is weirdly popular on this SF-based AI image app". SFGATE. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  19. ^ Brathwaite, Lester Fabian (August 29, 2022). "John Oliver marries a cabbage in ceremony officiated by Steve Buscemi on 'Last Week Tonight'". EW.com. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  20. ^ Roose, Kevin (September 2, 2022). "An A.I.-Generated Picture Won an Art Prize. Artists Aren't Happy". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  21. ^ Stokel-Walker, Chris (13 December 2022). "A Tech Worker Is Selling A Children's Book He Made Using AI. Professional Illustrators Are Pissed". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  22. ^ Popli, Nic (14 December 2022). "He Used AI to Publish a Children's Book in a Weekend. Artists Are Not Happy About It". Time. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  23. ^ Vincent, James (January 16, 2023). "AI art tools Stable Diffusion and Midjourney targeted with copyright lawsuit". The Verge.

External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - Midjourney