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AI-generated images Midjourney removes free trials but blames new users.

Photo: Midjourney

Due to increased users, AI picture creator Midjourney has ceased free trials. On Tuesday, Midjourney CEO and founder David Holz announced the move on Discord, citing “exceptional demand and trial abuse” (this announcement was spotted first by The Washington Post). “Because of large quantities of individuals generating throwaway accounts to grab free images,” Holz told The Verge.

Holz emailed that a popular Chinese how-to video was likely to blame. This occurred during a GPU scarcity. The two things combined to drag down the paying user service.”

Considering Holz’s reference to “abuse,” the stop was first supposed to be related to a rash of recent viral photos made with Midjourney, including manufactured images of President Trump being jailed and the pope donning a trendy jacket, which some mistaken for actual shots. Holz called earlier claims a “misunderstanding” and noted that the free trial of Midjourney did not include access to version 5, which generates the most realistic photos and is suspected of having been utilized for these viral pictures.

Midjourney 5 greatly enhanced human photos. AI-generated photos with deformed hands are becoming easier to create. The algorithm can generate photos of celebrities and prominent personalities, and the lighting and cloth are more realistic.

Midjourney photographs have gone viral in recent weeks due to these advancements. These include phony photos of Trump’s detention, the pope looking stylish, French President Emmanuel Macron strolling through Paris riots, and Elon Musk touching hands with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Midjourney has taken a piecemeal approach to the politically sensitive threat of fake images. As a result, Midjourney’s content limitations are more lenient than OpenAI’s DALL-E but more stringent than others (i.e., Stable Diffusion).

“Moderation is challenging, and we’ll launch improved systems shortly. “We’re collecting lots of input and ideas from professionals and the community and trying to be incredibly thoughtful,” Holz told The Verge.

Holz said in October that Midjourney bans phrases “connected to themes in different countries based on complaints from consumers in other regions.” “Almost no one ever discovers [the ban list] unless they’re deliberately attempting to make drama which is against our guidelines in tos [terms of service] ‘don’t use our tools to generate drama.’”

The business has increased this list when its fakes go viral, barring “arrested” lately. This was likely in response to investigative journalist Eliot Higgins’ Midjourney photographs of Trump being detained on Twitter. Higgins claims Midjourney banned him.

Yet, such prohibitions are easily circumvented. For example, Verge’s experiments showed that “Donald Trump getting arrested” did not yield photos, but “Donald Trump in handcuffs surrounded by police” did (As illustrated by the image at the top of the story.)

Midjourney does not enable free users to take photos yet. However, this may change. “We attempted to need an active email but it wasn’t enough so we’re back to the drawing board,” Holz added.

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