If you’ve been seeing a ton of otherworldly and hilarious picture collections on your Twitter feed, the people you follow are probably using Dall-E Mini, the text-to-image software that uses artificial intelligence to cobble together a series of pictures of literally anything you can dream of.
For instance, here is Elvis Costello in space:
How to make meme images using Dall-E Mini
Making your own surreal meme images is easy. Just visit the Dall-E site, enter your text, and wait for the program to spit out nine images based on your prompt. The process of creating your dream/nightmare images is complicated, so it can take a couple minutes for your results to show up, but it’s worth the wait.
Since it works by combing through images and text posted on the internet, widely recognizable subjects, settings, and situations are likely to produce better results than more obscure prompts. If you want to get creative, you can tell Dall-E what kind of image you’d like by adding text like “as a black and white photograph,” “as a cartoon,” or “through a fish-eye lens” to your prompt.
How does Dall-E Mini create these pictures?
Created by Boris Dayma, Dall-E Mini is a free-to-use program meant to approximate the results of OpenAI’s Dall-E 2, a long-running project that maps text to images using Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training, diffusion models, and other concepts that are way above my head. Here’s a Dall-E 2 explainer, though, if you’re curious.
Where Dall-E 2 (and Google’s image-creation joint Imagen) produce higher quality, more “serious” images, they have a couple of disadvantages from the free version: First, they are not open for anyone to use, and secondly, the images they make lack the distorted, lo-fi charm of the Dall-E Mini’s output.
Dall-E Mini is learning as it goes, so as more people use it, the images should get better. I hope they don’t get too good, though, or I’d miss the joy of janky pics like these:
If you want to check out an endless stream of awesome creations, head over to the Weird Dall-E Generations Twitter or the Reddit board. And feel free to post your own Dall-E Mini creations in our comment section.