AI image generators – perfect assistant or coded devil?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the big topic everyone’s talking about, with both businesses and experts taking up extremes of opinion. So, we want to wave the white flag of balance and weigh up the real impact of AI image generators for the end user.
There’s no denying that AI-powered technologies are already dividing the marketing world. From copywriting tools to chatbots and smart CRM journeys, some are embracing and experimenting with these tools, while others are rejecting and refusing to engage with them.
At Designmc, we believe a more agnostic approach will help brands take full advantage of these technologies, including AI image generators.
How do AI image generators work?
AI image generators work by taking a written brief and using an algorithm to generate and output an image based on this information. Otherwise known as text-to-image generators, these tools make it possible to create ‘unique’ images from your ideas within a few seconds.
AI-generated images can include both photos and graphics. They can also take inspiration from other artists, styles and brands. This is because AI image generators create their outputs from existing images found via search engines or other ‘learned’ databases. Their algorithms automatically match the terms written in the brief to these images and combine them together to create the final picture.
For example, when we briefed Microsoft’s Bing Image Creator to create “a logo for my technology business that’s inspired by Apple and Andy Warhol”, we got this….
Other AI image generator tools include:
– Deep AI
The pros of AI image generators
With many AI image generators now being easily accessible, businesses and individuals are starting to experiment and discover the benefits of these tools.
Speed and ease.
The main advantage AI-image generators bring is a quick and easy turnaround of briefs. Unlike human designers or artists who take a few hours or days to create their final piece, AI generators can complete a task in a matter of minutes with minimal input.
Cosmopolitan’s editors discovered this during their experiment with research lab OpenAI’s beta tool DALL-E 2. Working in collaboration with digital artist Karen X. Cheng, they were able to generate a striking and exciting image in just 20 seconds from a sentence-long brief and a few clicks. This was then turned into a magazine cover over the course of an hour-long Zoom call.
Similarly, with no human to pay for the final output, it’s possible to turn ideas into reality with an affordable monthly subscription. This has the potential to cut the cost of content creation from thousands to double-digits per year.
This is particularly true if your business wants to access specialist skills or generate new ideas without the expense of paying human creatives. Even artists have discovered this, with Steve Coulson fulfilling his dream of creating a comic book without needing to learn to draw or hire an illustrator.
These tools enable a user to imagine anything they want and create a high-quality version of it easily. This gives anyone with a great idea the potential to attract attention to their business through their content.
This was discovered by a Reddit artist who created an image of Pope Francis wearing a puffer jacket using the tool Midjourney. After being posted on the forum, the fake fashion statement went viral on Twitter, showing the huge potential AI-generated images and content have for attracting attention.
The cons of AI image generators
Before you lock up your design studio and switch to a team of bots, there are some downsides to using AI image generators that businesses need to be aware of.
Though the technology boffins behind these tools say their capabilities will improve as they learn and develop, the current images produced by generators have mixed standards of finish. A recent social media trend has shown how poor AI generators are at drawing hands and feet, for example.
This lack of detail and consistency is a disadvantage for any business that prioritises quality content, needs to meet strict marketing standards or has a complex set of requirements and briefs.
As AI image generators source their materials from existing art and graphics, the final outputs may be in breach of copyright laws. Though legislation around the use of AI-generated images is yet to be set out, artists and creators have already been raising concerns about the threat this content poses to their intellectual property rights.
This won’t just mean a loss of income for the creatives whose work is being used. It means businesses and brands could fall into expensive lawsuits or lose their customers’ trust as a result of using AI-generated imagery.
AI image generators are already being used by people who want to fool others about their own expertise. This includes German artist Boris Eldagsen’s winning entry to the Sony World Photography Awards 2023, which he later revealed was created using an AI tool after refusing to accept the award.
Similarly, businesses using these images will miss out on the authentic human touch that makes their brand stand out from the more generic crowd. By reinventing existing images, AI tools will also struggle to tap into a brand’s uniqueness in the same way as a human creative.
Should you use AI images or not?
The decision to create your brand images using AI generators comes down to a question of cost vs authenticity.
Image generation tools are a great option for businesses looking for quick, affordable wins such as creating attractive and interesting images to share on social media. In contrast, humans will save businesses money and time on briefs that are more complex, require high and consistent quality or need to be completely unique.
In short, there’s no direct answer as to whether AI image generators are a step forward for brands or not. These tools will be helpful in the faster-moving marketing world where new ideas need to be generated at speed. Yet, for as long as customers look for businesses and brands they can trust and connect with, content created with a human touch will always have an advantage.
So, if you’re looking for humans with authentic skills and ideas that will benefit and understand your brand and business, get in touch with our team today by calling us on 01926 754038 or, email us at email@example.com