Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

Another month, another flood of weird, wonderful and cute images generated by an artificial intelligence. In April, OpenAI showed off its new picture-making neural network, DALL-E 2which could produce remarkable high-res images of almost anything it was asked to.

Now, just a few weeks later, Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. And it performs even better than DALL-E 2: it scores higher on a standard measure for rating the quality of computer-generated images and the pictures it produced were preferred by a group of human judges.

But like OpenAI did with DALL-E, Google is going all in on cuteness. Both firms promote their tools with a series of pictures filled with anthropomorphic animals doing adorable things: a fuzzy panda dressed as a chef making dough, a corgi sitting in a house made of sushi, a teddy bear swimming the 400m butterfly at the Olympics — and it goes on.

This cuteness hides a darker side to these tools, one that the public doesn’t get to see because it would reveal the ugly truth about how they are created. Read the full story — and see more pictures created by Imagen — here.

—Will Douglas Heaven

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun / important / scary / fascinating stories about technology.

1 The Uvalde school shooting is strengthening urgent calls for gun control
Lawmakers are pushing for an end to America’s gun violence epidemic. (The Guardian)
+ President Biden asks when America is going to stand up to the gun lobby. (Politico)
+ Texas has some of the most lenient gun laws in the country. (NYT )

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