Midjourney, an AI image generator, stopped free trials for users because of the sudden influx of users and “extraordinary demand and trial abuse”.
Midjourney CEO and founder David Holz told The Verge that the action taken was “because of massive amounts of people making throwaway accounts to get free images.”
It was originally speculated that the decision to halt free trials of the service came after users created viral fabricated images of Donald Trump being arrested and the pope wearing a stylish jacket. Holz however, clarified that the recent version 5 of Midjourney was included in the free trial offered to users, which created realistic images.
The CEO and founder explained that “the culprit was probably a viral how-to video in china. 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.”
Version 5 of Midjourney rectified errors in the previously generated images, making lighting and fabric more realistic. The system can generate thousands of images of celebrities and public figures together, which has prompted thousands of images to go viral in recent weeks.
While the AI platform hasn’t done much to deal with the viral fabricated images which have also entered politics, they do have a list of banned words “related to topics in different countries based on complaints from users in those countries.”
The list has over time expanded to control the frenzy of fake images being generated and circulated.