Midjourney, an AI image generator, has announced that it is ending its free trial version due to the “extraordinary demand and trial abuse” the company has experienced.
The misuse reportedly involved people using the tool to create deepfake images, including images of Donald Trump and Pope Francis. Midjourney CEO David Holz admitted that the company’s safeguards were insufficient to prevent abuse during the trial period. Going forward, users must pay at least $10 monthly to use the technology.
Concerns have been raised that bad actors may use AI image generators like Midjourney and OpenAI’s DALL-E to spread misinformation. Establishing policies around content has proven challenging for these companies. Midjourney founder David Holz acknowledged that AI had enabled more realistic images than ever before, making it harder to set content policies. The company aims to improve the moderation of AI that screens for abuse.
Misleading content is not the only problem with AI image production. There has long been concern that the photos are being plagiarized, as they often refer to existing images. Developers have relied on strict rules to prevent incidents, such as OpenAI’s prohibition of ongoing political events, conspiracy theories, or images of politicians. It also prohibits hate, sexuality, and violence.
Midjourney’s decision to end its free trial version is a step towards preventing the misuse of AI image generators. The move also highlights the need for better safeguards and policies to prevent the spread of misinformation and plagiarism in AI-generated images. As AI advances, it is essential to use it ethically and responsibly.