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AI has generated more photos than 150 years of photography

Fri 18 Aug 2023    
| 2 min read

Over 15 billion AI photos have been produced in only one year, according to a recent survey. That exceeds the total amount of images captured in the first 150 years of photography. Yes, you did read that right. AI has generated more photos than 150 years of photography! And when you consider it, it’s not all that shocking.

AI-driven creative communities have swept the Internet in the past year. Thousands of AI “artists” are polishing their technique through exact prompts and sharing their creations with the public on a variety of internet hubs, such as Reddit, Twitter, and Discord.

Key players in this arena include DALLE-2, an image-generation model developed by OpenAI. Since its limited release in April 2022, DALLE-2 has been responsible for an average daily output of a staggering 34 million images. Adobe has also made waves with its groundbreaking suite of AI algorithms known as Adobe Firefly, seamlessly integrated into Adobe Photoshop. Remarkably, within a mere three months of its launch, Firefly facilitated the creation of an astounding 1 billion images, showcasing the incredible potential of AI-powered artistic tools.

Midjourney, a prominent generative AI model that went live in July 2022, is a major contributor to this digital renaissance. Boasting a robust user base of 15 million registered users and 1.5-2.5 million active members, Midjourney’s Discord channel alone witnesses a continuous stream of image generation – with estimates suggesting up to 2.5 million images produced daily. This equates to a total of around 964 million images since its inception.

Another noteworthy contender is Stable Diffusion, a text-to-image model introduced by Stability AI in August 2022. This open-source platform has seen remarkable traction, attracting over 10 million users across various channels. Conservative calculations indicate that users generate approximately 2 million images daily through Stable Diffusion’s official avenues. However, the true scale of its impact remains elusive, as the model’s open-source nature has led to the creation of numerous derivative platforms, making accurate statistics difficult.

Read also – AI can’t replace Mickey Mouse, says voice of Disney mascot

Intriguingly, the combined efforts of these AI-driven pioneers have culminated in the generation of more than 11 billion images across popular sites such as GitHub, HuggingFace, and Civitai. When accounting for other influential models like Runway and the official channels of Stability AI, the cumulative count of images created using Stable Diffusion technology swells to an impressive 12.590 billion, comprising 80% of all AI-generated images.

To put these 15 billion images into context, it dwarfs the entirety of Shutterstock’s huge library and would make up one-third of all images ever uploaded to Instagram.


AI has generated more photos than 150 years of photography

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