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posted by hubie on Saturday April 01 2023, @09:34AM   Printer-friendly

AI image generator Midjourney has stopped free trials of its software:

AI image generator Midjourney has halted free trials of its service, blaming a sudden influx of new users. Midjourney CEO and founder David Holz announced the change on Tuesday, originally citing "extraordinary demand and trial abuse" in a message on Discord (this announcement was spotted first by The Washington Post). In an email to The Verge, Holz stated that the pause is "because of massive amounts of people making throwaway accounts to get free images."

"We think the culprit was probably a viral how-to video in china," said Holz over email. "This happened at the same time as a temporary gpu shortage. The two things came together and it was bringing down the service for paid users."

Given Holz's reference to "abuse," it was originally thought that the pause was linked to a spate of recent viral images created using Midjourney, including fabricated images of Donald Trump being arrested and the pope wearing a stylish jacket, which some mistook for real photographs. However, Holz characterized earlier reports as a "misunderstanding" and notes that the free trial of Midjourney never included access to the latest version of Midjourney, version 5, that creates the most realistic images and which is thought to have been used for these viral pictures.

[...] Midjourney maintains a list of banned words "related to topics in different countries based on complaints from users in those countries," as per a message from Holz last October. But it doesn't share a complete version of this list to minimize "drama." As Holz said last year, "Almost no one ever notices [the ban list] unless they're specially trying to create drama which is against our rules in tos [terms of service] 'don't use our tools to create drama.'"

[...] At the time of writing, Midjourney is still not allowing free users to generate images, though this may change in the future. "We're still trying to figure out how to bring free trials back, we tried to require an active email but that wasn't enough so we're back to the drawing board," said Holz.

Original Submission

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Microsoft Accused of Selling AI Tool That Spews Violent, Sexual Images to Kids 13 comments

Microsoft's AI text-to-image generator, Copilot Designer, appears to be heavily filtering outputs after a Microsoft engineer, Shane Jones, warned that Microsoft has ignored warnings that the tool randomly creates violent and sexual imagery, CNBC reported.

Jones told CNBC that he repeatedly warned Microsoft of the alarming content he was seeing while volunteering in red-teaming efforts to test the tool's vulnerabilities. Microsoft failed to take the tool down or implement safeguards in response, Jones said, or even post disclosures to change the product's rating to mature in the Android store.

[...] Bloomberg also reviewed Jones' letter and reported that Jones told the FTC that while Copilot Designer is currently marketed as safe for kids, it's randomly generating an "inappropriate, sexually objectified image of a woman in some of the pictures it creates." And it can also be used to generate "harmful content in a variety of other categories, including: political bias, underage drinking and drug use, misuse of corporate trademarks and copyrights, conspiracy theories, and religion to name a few."

[...] Jones' tests also found that Copilot Designer would easily violate copyrights, producing images of Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse or Snow White. Most problematically, Jones could politicize Disney characters with the tool, generating images of Frozen's main character, Elsa, in the Gaza Strip or "wearing the military uniform of the Israel Defense Forces."

Ars was able to generate interpretations of Snow White, but Copilot Designer rejected multiple prompts politicizing Elsa.

If Microsoft has updated the automated content filters, it's likely due to Jones protesting his employer's decisions. [...] Jones has suggested that Microsoft would need to substantially invest in its safety team to put in place the protections he'd like to see. He reported that the Copilot team is already buried by complaints, receiving "more than 1,000 product feedback messages every day." Because of this alleged understaffing, Microsoft is currently only addressing "the most egregious issues," Jones told CNBC.

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Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by takyon on Saturday April 01 2023, @01:45PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Saturday April 01 2023, @01:45PM (#1299331) Journal

    "I like money."

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Rich on Saturday April 01 2023, @02:12PM

      by Rich (945) on Saturday April 01 2023, @02:12PM (#1299332) Journal

      Also, attention.

      It's amazing what's going on in the indie scene, particularly on Civitai. I thought for a while that big data had found its holy grail of rent seeking with AI as a service. But now, there are all the overlay technologies (Hypernetwork, LoRA, Textual Inversion, or, brand new, Lycoris), and the ControlNet modes, and the efficiency gained with optimized internal representations. There's a lot of fun to be had for independent geeks with a decent gamer's GPU. Such a lot that the data centers aren't really needed anymore.

      I wonder if the "Trump arrest" pictures and the following ban was a publicity stunt, too. And if the bigwigs soon group up to ban that technology in independent hands for "safety" (of their business model). Download the models while it lasts.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Mojibake Tengu on Saturday April 01 2023, @04:18PM

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Saturday April 01 2023, @04:18PM (#1299344) Journal

    Stable Diffusion does girls better anyway.

    Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.