AI is a hot topic of conversation, and the art world is no exception. By combining huge datasets of artworks with sophisticated machine learning models, AI engineers have made it possible for computers to produce art. 

The best part? You don’t have to be a computer scientist to create AI-generated art of your own. With the help of an AI art generator, you’re just seconds away from producing your first AI-powered artwork.

What is AI? 

Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, is a cutting-edge and constantly evolving technology in which machines are programmed to gather and interpret information in a way that resembles human thought. 

If you think that sounds like a broad definition, you’re absolutely right. AI technology is a spectacularly broad field, and as a result it has a staggering number of applications. 

AI-Generated Art

When an AI platform is taught to identify the contents and styles of various kinds of art, it can then use text-based prompts to create original pieces of art. 

These types of platforms are referred to as AI art generators, and the artworks they create are called AI-generated art. 

Personalized Recommendations

If you’ve ever made a purchase on Amazon, eBay, Etsy or just about any other online shopping platform, then you’ve probably seen AI-powered personalized recommendations in action. 

Here’s how it works: Whenever a customer uses a website or app, aspects of their behavior are monitored and recorded as data. Then, AI analyzes that data and uses it to make predictions about other products or services the customer may also be interested in. 

Most importantly, these AI-driven recommendations seem to work, with 91 percent of consumers saying they prefer to shop with brands who provide offers and suggestions relevant to them. 

Weather Forecasting 

Professional meteorologists have been forecasting the weather for thousands of years, first based on historical data and later based on radar scans and detailed instrument readings. 

Now, AI is helping meteorologists make even more accurate forecasts by studying vast amounts of previous data and analyzing current trends. In fact, there’s even an AI model which may be able to help scientists predict extreme weather events up to six weeks in advance. 

Collision Avoidance 

Most new cars (those built in 2021 or later) have automated emergency braking (AEB) systems which serve to avoid collisions and protect their human occupants from injury. Others have lane departure warning (LDW) systems which help drivers stay in their respective lanes, and still others have adaptive cruise control (ACC) which automatically adjusts to surrounding traffic speeds. 

All of those features demonstrate how AI is making driving safer for everyone: With advanced AI models, automakers are able to design collision avoidance systems that can keep accidents from happening in the first place. 

Digital Voice Assistants

Every time you ask Siri what the weather is currently like, tell Google Assistant to set a timer or have Alexa turn off the lights for you, you’re directly interacting with an AI-powered tool. 

That’s because all digital voice assistants function with the help of an AI model that’s been trained to recognize speech and detect the differences between different people’s voices. 

How to Make AI-Generated Art

There are countless more examples of how AI is and can be used, but if you’re a creative type then you’re probably more curious about AI art generators than anything else. Fortunately, there are plenty of readily available tools you can use to start creating AI-generated art today. 

Midjourney

An image of a tall, dark figure walking down a dark city street with other smaller figures behind him. Aqua, magenta and red neon lights add contrasting accents, while skyscrapers loom in the distance.
In the Skillshare class “How to create AI art with Midjourney,” teacher Jonathon Parker showcases a piece of AI-generated art. 

In their own words, Midjourney is “an independent research lab exploring new mediums of thought and expanding the imaginative powers of the human species.” The lab’s AI art generator is officially named Midjourney Bot, but most simply refer to it as Midjourney for short. 

Rather than being a browser-based tool, Midjourney can only be used in the communications app Discord. There, users give text-based prompts to the Midjourney Bot which then creates original images based on those prompts. 

You’ll need to set up a Discord account and join the official MIdjourney discord server to create art of your own—luckily, Midjourney’s handy guide makes it easy to get started. 

DALL-E

Several artworks arranged in a mosaic fashion on a white webpage. One image shows a 3D render of a fish, one shows a painting of a robot playing chess, one shows a chair shaped like an avocado and so on.
In the Skillshare class “DALL-E 2: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence Art Generation,” teacher Joe Ndua shows a variety of AI-generated artworks. 

DALL-E and its more advanced successor, DALL-E 2, are undoubtedly some of the most well-known AI art generators. Both are capable of creating images based on textual prompts, but DALL-E 2 has the distinction of generating “more realistic and accurate images with 4x greater resolution.” 

Curious how the two iterations of DALL-E differ? This side-by-side comparison from OpenAI, the company behind both tools, shows the image each one generates for the same prompt. 

Two painting-like images of a fox. One is less colorful and detailed, and is labeled ‘DALL-E 1.” The second is far more colorful and detailed, and is labeled ‘DALL-E 2.’ The prompt used to create both images is ‘a painting of a fox sitting in a field at sunrise in the style of Claude Monet.’
OpenAI uses a single prompt to highlight the differences between the original DALL-E and DALL-E 2.

As of September 2022, you’ll need to join a waitlist and receive an invite in order to try out DALL-E 2 for yourself. 

WOMBO Dream

Four artworks displayed in a carousel on the main page of WOMBO Dream’s website. One shows a tiger in a jacket, one shows a woman next to a temple, one shows a pyramid and one shows a vibrantly-colored duck.
Just a few examples of the types of art you can create with WOMBO Dream.

An exceptionally easy-to-use and completely free AI art generator worth checking out is Dream, an art-centric tool created by the AI-powered lip sync app WOMBO

You can use this AI art generator online, too—there’s no need to download separate software or even make an account. Just click “create” on the app’s homepage and you’ll instantly be taken to a page where you can enter a prompt of up to 200 characters, pick an art style and see a preview of the results. 

Alternatively, download the Dream app either for iOS or for Android to start creating AI-generated art from your smartphone. 

Disco Diffusion

A painting-like image depicting a futuristic and dystopian landscape. A large yellow machine is shown in a grassy field under a foggy sky, with neon signs and city buildings visible in the background.
In the Skillshare class “How to create AI art with Disco Diffusion,” teacher Jonathon Parker shows students an artwork made with the AI art generator Disco Diffusion. 

Entirely free and open source, Disco Diffusion is described on its GitHub page as “a Frankensteinian amalgamation of notebooks, models and techniques for the generation of AI art and animations.” 

And although it’s not as user-friendly as some other AI art generators (its own tutorial describes it as “complex and continually evolving”), tech-savvy artists can use it to create some truly stunning images. 

Uses for AI-Generated Art

It’s easy to see the entertainment value of AI art generators—plug in a string of words and you’re presented with a one-of-a-kind image created just for you. But what might not be as readily apparent is the practical potential of AI-generated art. 

With the help of AI art generators, it’s possible to: 

  • create original album covers; 
  • design NFT art
  • make eye-catching profile pictures for your favorite social media platforms; 
  • experiment with different ideas before creating physical art such as paintings or drawings; 
  • produce unique home décor; 
  • transform AI art videos into your own GIFs;
  • generate memorable gifts for friends and family; and 
  • so much more. 

And with a little creativity, you’ll surely be able to come up with more uses, and you can even sell your AI-generated art if you’re so inclined (and your chosen generator allows it). If you want to avoid controversy, though, perhaps refrain from entering your AI artworks into competitions—just a thought.

Create Art That’s Anything but Artificial with AI Art Generators

Although AI art generators are a relatively new technology, one thing is already clear: The artworks that artists can create with them are nothing short of stunning. 

Thanks to the plethora of AI art generators available on just about every platform, you don’t have to admire AI-generated art from afar. Just hop on your phone or computer, choose a generator to try and start using AI to create your own masterpieces. 

Written By

Carrie Buchholz-Powers

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