Have you ever seen a kitten in a nest emerging from a cracked egg? What about an armchair in the shape of an avocado? Or two giraffes having a romantic evening at the beach? These might sound bizarre, but a special type of machine learning technology called “text-to-image generation” can generate such high-quality photorealistic images from a simple text description.

With artificial intelligence on board and perfectly capable of telling the difference between a stop sign and a cat, a dog from a lion, the next frontier is generating AI images. Although AI image generators or image synthesizers are trending top yet, they are far from new. Tools and technology for AI image generators have existed for quite some time. Now, it’s just reaching a point where you can access them more easily.

This blog post will detail how these models work and their potential for the art industry.

What is AI Image Generation?

Artificial intelligence (AI) image generation is the process of using a computer to create digital images from textual descriptions.

Simply, these image generators create art using cutting-edge artificial intelligence. Type a simple text, also known as a “prompt,” of what you want to make, and AI will do its best. You’ll see beautiful illustrations, sketches, or photographs popping up a few seconds later.

The text-to-image art can be created using various methods. Still, one of the most popular is the machine learning model “transformer.” Transformers are neural networks that specifically interpret natural language inputs and generate images accordingly.

Let’s take a deep look at how AI image generators work.

Unraveling the Mystery of AI Image Generation

AI-generated images use deep neural networks, GAN (generative adversarial networks), and variational autoencoders (VAEs) to turn words into wondrous images in just a few seconds.

The first neural network creates images based on the text input by the user, while the second neural network judges how close to the real thing the image is, based on real-life reference images from the internet.

“Scoring” or, you can say, “comparing” both images determines the accuracy of the output image, and data is sent back to the original AI system. The system acknowledges the feedback. If required, it sends back an altered image for further scoring until the AI-generated image matches the control image.

However, every image you see has a human behind it. So, what’s the line between AI and human creativity? How do these models really work?

Suppose a model has seen a lot of cat photos. It’s trained enough so that when it gets a prompt input like “cat,” it will generate a photo that looks very similar to the many pictures already seen.

In terms of what’s the line between AI and human creativity, these models are actually trained on people’s creativity. The internet keeps all types of images, videos, and illustrations people have already created. These models recreate and generate images on the web already. In short, these models are more like the evolution of what people have spent creativity on for hundreds of years. Other than this, you can generate images in other ways as well. For instance:

  • Generating another image from an existing one.

  • You draw a basic sketch, and the program will create a complete image.
  • Creating images based on a specific art type, like pop art.

Top 10 AI Image Generators Creating Stunning and Surreal Art

Here’s a list of popular image generators creating stunning visuals with artificial intelligence.

1. DALL.E 2

DALL·E 2 is a recent groundbreaking deep learning algorithm and, perhaps, the most popular one. Developed by OpenAI, it combines unrelated concepts – portraying real and imaginary things in plausible ways with text captions. Besides creating images, you can also generate product designs and illustrations with DALL.E 2.

When asked evaluators to compare DALL.E 1 and DALL.E 2, 71.7% preferred DALL. E 2 for its perfect caption-matching ability, while 88.8% preferred it for photorealism.

DALL.E is a 12-billion parameter version of GPT-3. It is trained to create images from text descriptions, using a dataset of text–image pairs. — OpenAI

DALL.E 2 has incredible potential for both amateurs and professionals ones. Both can create stunning visuals with 4x greater resolution with their smooth, easy-to-use interface. According to DALL.E creators, it can also create a single image combining multiple concepts. For example, “a person driving a car on a beach in the rain.”

Interestingly, you can add and remove elements like shadows, reflections, and textures into images while creating them with DALL E.

popular image generators(1)

3D render of a cute tropical fish in an aquarium on a dark blue background — Image created by Dall.E 2

A Few Amazing Features Of DALL.E 2

  • Diffusion

The AI image generator, DALL.E, employs a “diffusion” technique that generates an image with a pattern of random dots, turning them into a completely realistic image. This capability of DALL.E shows its best understanding of textual prompts.

  • Editing and Touch ups

DALL.E 2 has made the image editing process a lot easier. You just need to draw a box around the part of the image you want to change and type the required changes in natural language. DALL.E will make the suggested changes accurately according to your text descriptions. More than this, it can fill in or replace any image part with AI-generated imagery that blends smoothly with the real one.

  • Versatile Outputs

What’s more fascinating about DALL.E is that it can generate various images on a single prompt. And besides the prompt, you can enter an image as input and generate its further iterations with multiple angles, colors, themes, and styles. DALL.E’s deep understanding of machine learning enables it to learn the relationship between various objects as well.


AI Image Generators


AI Image Generators
  • Restrict Harmful and Violent Content Creation

Since its creators have removed the most explicit content from the training data, DALL·E 2’s ability to generate violent, hateful, or adult images is limited. Aside from that, the system prohibits the photorealistic generation of faces, including public figures, from avoiding scams.

2. Stable Diffusion

With Stable Diffusion, you can mix concepts to create entirely new images. It’s more like DALL.E 2, but there is a significant difference; unlike DALL.E 2, stable diffusion is an open source.

Stable diffusion is a state-of-the-art AI text-to-image generator that creates incredibly coherent images from a text prompt. It generates artistic images, but you can also create images that look more like real photos or sketches.

  • The Latent Diffusion Model

Stable diffusion is built on the “Latent Diffusion Model (LDM),” specifically for high-resolution image synthesis. The Machine vision and learning group suggested it in 2022. Their intended goal was to create a perceptually equivalent space where diffusion models can be trained easily for high-resolution image synthesis.

3. Google’s Deep Dream Generator

Like other AI image generators, Google’s Deep Dream Generator creates realistic images using a neural network trained on millions of images. This amazing image generator requires a reference image to generate a new one. Using painting styles from various eras while generating images makes it popular for artwork. Moreover, you can add thin style, deep style, or deep dream filters to your final output image, making it more eye-catching.

4. Lensa AI

Despite not hearing about Lensa AI, you may have seen its work these days. Recently, Lensa AI became a hit, a selfie-based app that can make “magic avatars” with AI using your selfies. Created by the company Prisma Labs, the app uses your selfies to create your computer-generated portraits or anyone whose photos you feed it.

5. MidJourney

The art pieces generated by MidJourney will amaze you — they’re not just unique, but some are breathtaking. Similar to other AI image generators, MidJourney can turn your imagination into artwork with simple text prompts. you can create environments with dramatic lighting, such as those you witness in fantasy and sci-fi video games.

Currently, you can access MidJourney only through a Discord bot. You can make the most of MidJourney by directly messaging the bot or inviting the bot to a third-party server.

6. NightCafe Studio

If you want to create diversified pieces of artwork and transform your plain photographs into exquisite digital art, give a shot to Nightcafe AI studio. NightCafe works with multiple methods of AI art generation, enabling art enthusiasts to get digital art in a few seconds.

Previously, you needed to upload a “reference image” and a “style” to generate a new image with NightCafe. Its latest version now offers you text-to-image art generation. This version combines the cutting-edge, open-source machine learning systems — VQGAN, a (GANN) for generating images, and CLIP, which tells you how well an image resonates with your text description.

7. ArtBreeder

ArtBreeder creates photorealistic, versatile character portraits with AI. You can create stunning portraits, paintings, and landscape images smoothly and edit them with simple-to-use sliders. Interestingly, ArtBreeder can even change your face appearance according to your emotions. Offering thousands of illustrations takes your art in a new direction.

8. Deep AI

DeepAI is a free, easy-to-use tool based on a stable diffusion model that lets you create as many images as you’d like. You’ll find every image unique with DeepAI & can also connect it with other software projects with its text-to-image API. However, the quality of images is often compromised.

9. Starry AI

Starry AI simply transforms your words into a spectacular piece of artwork. It’s a simple and intuitive app for both iOs and Android, offering you complete ownership of your creations. You can customize your images and creations with available options for models, styles, aspect ratios, and initial images to customize your creations.

10. Runway ML

It’s a next-gen image creation suite. Besides AI image creation, it offers you dozen of creative tools for creating and editing images with a simplified interface. Runway ML allows you to make secure collaborations from anywhere in the world. Moreover, you can quickly remove the background from any part of content, including video, with just a few clicks.

Navigating the Ethical Minefield of AI Image Generation

Since AI-based image generators can revolutionize how you create and consume image content, there’s a debate over its ethical implications.

On the one hand, you could use these text-to-image generator tools to create content that is more accessible and engaging than ever. These tools generate content at a whirlwind pace, offering creators and designers unprecedented access to information and entertainment. Moreover, AI-based image content is more diverse and inclusive, allowing everyone to show their perspective in art and media regardless of their background.

However, there is a downside to AI image creation too. For instance, these tools can produce deceptive or malicious content. It could lead to increased fake news, misinformation, cyberbullying, and online harassment. So before deploying such technologies, it’s crucial to consider their ethical implications. Make sure to use these technologies responsibly and with the utmost respect for others’ privacy.

AI Image Generators: In a Nutshell

AI tools have been around for years — But it’s only recently that these tools have been able to generate images with different art styles and themes based on human input. These Image generators are an incredible tool for anyone who wants to be more creative with their visuals and content. In addition, if you run a website or blog, it can be the best way to create images that fit your brand without hiring someone else to do it.

Although AI image generators have some negative aspects, the pros currently outweigh the cons. While AI image generators aren’t perfect, they can be a great way to create various kinds of art for any project for those who know that technology is still in progress.