Midjourney Halts Free Trials for Amidst Growing Misuse Concerns
Midjourney has announced the termination of free trials for its AI image generator due to concerns about misuse and "extraordinary demand." The move comes after users created high-profile deepfakes using the tool, prompting concerns about the potential spread of misinformation.
Midjourney Terminates Free Trials for Its AI Image Generator
Midjourney, an AI image generator company, has decided to put an end to its free trial offerings following a series of "extraordinary" abuses involving the tool. CEO David Holz announced on Discord that the company would cease offering free trials due to excessive demand and rampant misuse. As a result, users will now have to pay a minimum of $10 per month to access the technology.
Unwanted Attention for Midjourney
Midjourney has recently found itself at the center of unwanted attention after users utilized the company's AI to create deepfakes of high-profile figures, such as Donald Trump being arrested and Pope Francis wearing a trendy coat. Although these images were quickly identified as fake, concerns have arisen that bad actors could use Midjourney's AI, along with other AI generators like OpenAI's DALL-E, to disseminate misinformation.
"The growing sophistication of AI-generated imagery poses a significant challenge for policymakers and the industry as a whole," said David Holz, CEO of Midjourney.
Struggling to Establish Content Policies
Midjourney has acknowledged the difficulties in establishing and enforcing content policies as AI-generated images become increasingly realistic. In 2022, CEO David Holz defended a ban on images of Chinese leader Xi Jinping by claiming that the company wanted to "minimize drama" and prioritize access in China over permitting satirical content. Holz recently admitted in a chat with users that setting content policies has become increasingly challenging due to the evolving capabilities of AI technology.
The Industry's Response to Misuse Concerns
Some AI developers have implemented strict guidelines in an attempt to prevent incidents. For example, OpenAI prohibits the creation of images related to ongoing political events, conspiracy theories, and politicians, as well as content featuring hate, sexuality, and violence.
In contrast, other developers, such as Stability AI, maintain relatively lenient guidelines. While Stability AI does not allow users of its Stable Diffusion tool to copy styles or create not-safe-for-work images, it generally refrains from dictating what users can create.
The Challenges of AI Image Production
Beyond the potential for misleading content, AI image production faces concerns that the generated images may be stolen, as they often use existing images as reference points. Although some companies have embraced AI-generated art in their products, others remain hesitant, fearing unwanted attention and potential misuse.
"As the AI industry evolves, we must be vigilant in addressing the challenges and risks that come with increasingly realistic imagery," said David Holz, CEO of Midjourney.