DALL-E, the artificial intelligence that will draw images based on what it learns on the internet, is now open to everyone. The developer, OpenAI, scrapped their waiting list and opened registration to anyone who wants to sign up. It continues to learn, so the more we all use it, the better it will be. Below, you can learn more about how this AI program works and some of the features that DALL-E and its updated versions offer to its users.
A free version, once called DALL-E Mini, now known as Craiyon, is also available for public use. It also comes as an app for Android devices, making it even easier to create weird art based on a Mad Lib-like string of random ideas. Enter in any prompt and the AI spits out nine graphics. Who doesn’t want to see a giant squid assembling IKEA furniture?
Below, you can learn more about how this AI program works and some of the features that DALL-E and its updated versions offer to its users.
How Do AI Like DALL-E and Craiyon Work?
Examples from Craiyon’s site include “a baby daikon radish in a tutu walking a dog” and “a baby hedgehog in a cape staring at its reflection in a mirror.” When first released a few months ago, the internet wasted no time putting it through its paces.
Columbo in Marvel vs Capcom 2 pic.twitter.com/NIRcdCWjjU— Ismael Bergara (@Calavera145) June 6, 2022
The AI’s job is to do something many of us do every day—look at images on the internet. It also reads the captions and learns what is probably in the image based on that. Now it can draw images based on text. The more specific the prompt, the more amusing the results are. The one below is “Star Wars movie poster in the style of Salvador Dali.” And they’re perfect.
This one was particularly beautiful pic.twitter.com/POUL7Gejry— Paul Adamson (@Paulywoggsvoice) June 8, 2022
In between failed attempts because the site was experiencing so much traffic, I entered “Snoopy playing with other dogs” as a prompt. The results weren’t nearly as cute as I was hoping. While it clearly knows who Snoopy is, it’s closer to a Picasso painting than anything else.
Nerdist‘s very own Dan Casey got much better results with “baby yoda eating pizza.” Proving Grogu is literally cute under any and all circumstances.
Artificial Intelligence as Art with Outpainting
Artificial intelligence and art are great partners. It can turn terrible drawings into stunning landscapes. OpenAI’s DALL-E now has a feature called Outpainting. It allows you to widen the scope of artwork, whether it’s original work or the Mona Lisa. In the example below, AI zooms out on the masterpiece Girl with a Pearl Earring. We get to see the rest of the girl and also the (very cluttered) room she is in. More than just extending the square format of the original DALL-E, this opens the art form to anyone wondering what’s just off-screen.
Artists creating movie posters using DALL-E provide fascinating insights into how the AI works. Titles, taglines, or even dialogue from the script can serve as prompts. The developer of Craiyon, Boris Dayma, is documenting that program’s progress on his Twitter account. Whether you use Craiyon or DALL-E, taking the artificial intelligence on a training run helps everyone using the AI. It’s for the good of the data after all, but it’s also a hoot. So says the “Suprised Pikachu” below.
The DALL-E 2
The DALL-E program’s more advanced iteration, named DALL-E 2 is now available. DALL-E 2 aims to create even more realistic offerings in response to prompts and also seeks to reduce bias and improve safety in its creations. There’s no longer a waitlist and anyone can access the beta DALL-E 2.
According to the platform, “Every DALL·E user will receive 50 free credits during their first month of use and 15 free credits every subsequent month. Users can purchase 115 additional credits for $15. Each credit can be used for one original DALL·E prompt generation — returning four images — or an edit or variation prompt, which returns three images.”
Craiyon remains free for everyone to enjoy. Next up, I’m trying “manatees with Elizabethan collars swimming with rabbits.”
DALL-E 2 Coming to Clip Art
The DALL-E 2 is also coming to the search engine Bing. Microsoft, an early investor in OpenAI, the developer of DALL-E, is also launching a new graphic design app called that uses the AI technology. It’s called Designer and you can sign up to be one of the first to try it out. For those who remember clip art from the 80s and 90s, this is a huge upgrade for creating everything from posters to websites. Instead of just a few selections, you can quickly generate any image with a simple text prompt.
Originally published on June 9.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.