AI Image Generator Midjourney Ends Free Trials Amid Concerns of Deepfake Misuse
In recent days, a series of images have been circulating widely on social media platforms that have caught the attention of the online community. The first set of images is the “Trump Arrested” series, featuring multiple images with the theme of former U.S. President Donald Trump being arrested. The second set is the latest images of Pope Francis of the Vatican wearing a rainbow gradient coat.
These images were generated by artificial intelligence (AI), and while a closer inspection of the images reveals that they are not real photographs, their widespread circulation has drawn unnecessary attention to AI image generation tools like Midjourney. People are concerned that ill-intentioned individuals could use tools like Midjourney and DALL-E to create deepfake images for spreading misinformation.
Midjourney: A Top Player in AI Image Generation
Midjourney is one of the top players in the current wave of AI innovation, known for its impressive image generation capabilities. However, Midjourney acknowledges that there is no foolproof way to prevent users from generating images that could be used to spread false information.
New Policy: Terminating Free Trials to Curb Misuse
To address this issue, Midjourney has announced a new policy: due to excessive demand and abuse of the trial program, the company is terminating its free trial offering. Midjourney CEO David Holz stated that the new protective measures were insufficient to prevent abuse during the trial period, and as a result, all users who wish to use Midjourney to generate images must pay a monthly fee of $10.
Challenges in Preventing AI Abuse
While the adoption of a paid model may deter some casual users, it is unlikely to be a definitive solution to combat AI-generated image abuse. Users with a strong intent to generate specific images may not be deterred by the $10 fee.
The question of how to prevent AI abuse remains a challenge for the industry. Whether it’s OPENAI or Midjourney, finding a 100% effective solution to the problem is a complex task. As AI continues to advance, finding ways to balance its benefits and risks will be an ongoing conversation for the tech community.