DALL-E generates images based on detailed text descriptions that a person types into a text box.
Over 1.5 million people use DALL-E to make over 2 million images a day, according to OpenAI.
You can make an account on DALL-E like on any other website by using an email and making a password. When you're in, the homepage has a bar to add a prompt for DALL·E to start creating. Below the prompt bar are examples of art DALL·E has made, including the prompt that lead to the image.
On DALL-E, the AI-generated images you create are called "generations." They are based on text you put into the search bar called "prompts." You can also upload images to DALL-E, called "uploads," and create images from that.
The details you can add in your prompt are seemingly limitless, including the style of art or artist you want the AI-image to resemble. For this prompt, I specified that I wanted the image to be "digital art."
The first prompt I asked DALL-E to create was cats eating soup. One of my favorite paintings is "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt, so I asked for this image and added, "in the style of Gustav Klimt." This image was the best of the four that DALL-E gave me, but none of the images really resembled "The Kiss."
I did another prompt with a different artist in mind. For this image, I asked for "van Gogh style painting of Formula 1 car driving on Mars." Compared to what DALL-E gave me for Klimt, I thought this image more closely resembled a Vincent van Gogh painting.
My favorite results from my DALL-E prompts were these images of "extraterrestrial School of Athens by Raphael."
Here's a closer look at my favorite of that batch. I didn't have any real expectations for this prompt, so I was excited to see how DALL-E would interpret it. I liked this one the best because DALL-E added more landscape to this "generation" to suggest it was in a different world.
Each detail in your prompt will influence how DALL-E will create your image. For example, I used the same prompt for two photos. For this one, I asked for "a bright painting of a girl walking over a bridge into a waterfall that opens into another dimension..."
...then "a dark painting of a girl walking over a bridge into a waterfall that opens into another dimension." Both sets of images came out very different depending on whether I put "bright" or "dark."
When your prompt isn't very specific, the "generations" can really vary in style. For example, I only asked for "Astronaut cowboys at a rodeo in outer space." Here's one generation:
And another one in a different style:
You can also edit a "generation" on DALL-E by using one of your credits. Edit options include erasing part of the "generation," adding a frame, or uploading another image to add to the "generation."
You can check your collection by clicking "My collection" at the top of the DALL-E homepage. You can also check how many credits you have for the month by clicking on your user profile in the top right corner.
When you open an account to use DALL-E, you get 50 credits for the first month. Each credit is used for one DALL-E prompt, one edit request, or a variation request. You get 15 credits for each month after the first month, but the 50 free credits don't roll over after the first month. You can also buy more credits.
Here are some other examples of "generations" I made using DALL-E, like this "digital art" of one of my favorite dishes, pho.
And this one, "an illustration of baby ducks wearing rain boots eating tacos" inspired by my friend who asked me to ask DALL·E for an image of ducks.
I was clearly feeling the outer space theme, so I asked for, "light saber battle in Ancient Rome"
OpenAI's content policy for DALL·E includes not creating, uploading, or sharing images that depict hate, violence, self-harm, illegal activity, or anything political.
For more of OpenAI's content policy, go here.
OpenAI encourages DALL·E users to be transparent about the use of AI in the creation of their images.
As cool as using DALL-E was for me and probably its other users, AI image generators have caused a lot of controversy in the art world. For example, someone used a different AI art generator, Midjourney, to create artwork that was submitted to an art competition and won. The win was met with backlash online from people who called it cheating and debated the implications for people in creative jobs.
The artist behind the award-winning Midjourney artwork told The New York Times that he wasn't going to apologize for winning the competition.