Natural language is now a programming language. Words become functions, and the more obscure terms you know, the wider the palette of tools you can work with. It is in this new era that we are entering automatic image and video generation systems based on artificial intelligence. It all started in January 2021 when the OpenAI Foundation launched its Dall-E system, quickly followed in April 2022 by a more powerful successor, Dall-E 2, now available as a commercial service. We can also mention Stable Diffusion, Midjourney or Craiyon.
When you sign up for the Dall-E beta – and I encourage you to try out these tools – you get 50 credits, and then 15 credits each month. Each credit allows you to write a text and receive four images generated from this description. OpenAI simply limits the type of images that users can request from the AI and prohibits, for example, pornography, violence or images showing the faces of real people.
Since then, auto-generated images have invaded social networks and are even gaining price. It must be said that they are superb. But they arouse the ire of young artists mastering the digital brush who see themselves dethroned by people who know how to manipulate words to obtain the richest image. It is indeed necessary to describe very finely the decoration, the characters, to choose the desired style, the effects to apply. Those who, like me, have limited artistic skills suddenly discover the possibility of producing their own works.
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Digital crutches bridge the lack of inspiration
These technologies which generate images or videos today will be able to produce speech, sound or even lines of code tomorrow. Jasper, a tool based on the GPT-3 language model, helps writers produce content from summaries by choosing writing styles such as “scientific” or “humorous”. Digital crutches are already filling the lack of inspiration, in the matter of automatic text completion available on our smartphones and in our mailboxes. For $2.99, an application called PromptBase generates additional words by association of ideas for Dall-E.
Without exaggerating the level of writing required, it is obvious that in the new world of AI, how you build text command will become a valuable human skill. In the professional world, where you have to be able to give simple answers to complex questions while navigating through growing volumes of data, it is not impossible that such interfaces will spread. The Google search bar gives us a taste of this: by refining your search using the association of ideas and semantic links, you can access better results.
While computer languages were undoubtedly technical, natural language interfaces fit perfectly with science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s formula that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” These artificial intelligences are nothing but giant statistical analyzes with several hundreds of billions of parameters. But the correlations they make elude us entirely, far from the brutal causality of programming languages, and we have no idea why they get such a result. It’s because there are black boxes behind the natural language interfaces that this command mode is particularly impressive.
The hundreds of thousands of missing IT developer jobs are not going away, however. The most powerful tools will continue to be coded using programming languages. And a person’s rich vocabulary will not replace a good developer’s ability to understand a problem, dissect it into subtasks, find on GitHub or Stack Overflow the right commands to run them, write them from scratch if necessary. , assemble them together and debug everything. At 15 dollars for 115 image orders on Dall-E 2, those who come out of Fine Arts, on the other hand, have reason to worry.
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Artificial intelligence: why it is useful to know how to write beautiful sentences
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