Midjourney is a popular online service that allows users to create images using generative artificial intelligence (AI). Users can type in text prompts and the AI will produce images that match their descriptions. The latest version, Midjourney 5.1, was released on May 3 and promises to bring significant changes to the quality and style of the images.
Not all versions of Midjourney are the same. The service has been undergoing constant updates and improvements since its launch in 2020.
According to Midjourney CEO David Holz, Midjourney 5.1 is “more opinionated” than the previous version, meaning that it has a stronger artistic touch and a flair for the dramatic. This makes it closer to Midjourney 4, which was widely praised for its creative and diverse outputs, but at a higher resolution and sharpness.
Midjourney 5.1 also claims to have greater accuracy, fewer unwanted borders or text artifacts, and improved color and contrast. Users can also choose between a “raw” mode, which gives more realistic and photographic results, and a “default” mode, which gives more artistic and fantasy results.
V5.1 is now available! Images are more coherent, sharp, and beautiful. It's easier to use and should respond more precisely to instructions. We've also added a "RAW" mode for expert users to reduce the 'opinionatedness' of our model and give you more creative control.
— Midjourney (@midjourney) May 3, 2023
The new version of Midjourney has been well received by many users, especially those who are new to AI art or who prefer less specific prompts. Some users have compared the results of Midjourney 5 and 5.1 using the same prompts and found that the latter produces more interesting and dynamic images.
Midjourney 5.1 is available in open beta testing and users can activate the update by going to the /Settings section in the Discord chatbot. The service remains exclusive for paid users, after Midjourney had to apply a block to prevent the misuse of its tool.
Is Midjourney Now Competing with Microsoft and Google?
Image generation is just one branch of generative AI that has become mainstream in the last few months. Google also showed an image generating AI known as MediaGen that is similar to other image/video AI such as MidJourney and Microsoft's Bing Image Creator.
Bing Image Creator is one of Microsoft's latest tools for AI and web services. The AI can create images based on simple words or phrases, such as animals, objects, landscapes, or abstract concepts. However, the tool also has some limitations and restrictions. For example, it refused to make an image based on the word “Bing” when it was first released.
Two of the biggest tech companies – and the leaders in mainstream AI development – are now in the AI image space. Are Microsoft and Google direct competitors to MidJourney? Not yet and not quite. While Bing Image Creator is already available, as its name suggests, it is more focused on crafting images for users rather than art in the way Midjourney does.
That said, Bing Image Creator can also create art, but it is not yet as capable as Midjounrey, especially version 5.1. Google has yet to launch MediaGen, so it is unclear what the company's approach will be.
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