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.

Image of Midjourney logo

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

Image of a deepfake generated by Midjourney's AI image generator

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.

Image of a computer screen displaying AI-generated images

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.

Explore More

OpenAI's Chatbot GPT Faces FTC Complaint: Addressing Ethical and Safety Concerns
April 12, 2023
AI & Navigating the Unknown at Columbia University
May 1, 2023
OpenAI Launches Bug Bounty Program for ChatGPT: Rewards up to $20,000 for User Collaboration and AI Safety
April 12, 2023
Meet Drake's AI Clone - Exploring the Legal Boundaries of AI-Generated Music
May 1, 2023
Japan declares AI Art Does Not Violate Copyright Law
June 5, 2023