DALL-E image generator

DALL-E is a software programme that automatically generates images from natural-language text descriptions (or 'prompts'). Trained on text-image pairs culled from the Internet, DALL-E claims to create 'realistic imagery and art' in multiple styles and compositions.

Developed by OpenAI and first revealed in January 2021, DALL-E uses a modified version of large language model GTP-3 to generate images. DALL-E2, which generates more diverse, higher resolution images faster, was released in May 2022. 

In September 2023, OpenAI released DALLE-3 with improved capabilities, added guardrails, and integration with ChatGPT.

DALL-E has been praised by researchers and commentators for the ease with which it makes it possible to create highly realistic, if surprising and weird, images and artwork at high speed. 

Operator: OpenAI; Microsoft
Developer: OpenAI
Country: USA
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Generate images
Technology: NLP/text analysis; Computer vision; Text-to-image; Neural network; Deep learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Bias/discrimination - race, ethnicity, gender; Copyright; Employment - jobs; Environment;  Mis/disinformation; Privacy; Safety
Transparency: Governance; Black box; Marketing; Privacy

Risks and harms 🛑

DALL-E has been criticised for creating inappropriate and harmful content, including misinformation and disinformation, amplifying biases, violating intellectual property rights, destroyiand damaging the environment, amongst others.

These limitations and risks broadly reflect those published by OpenAI upon DALL-E's launch and DALLE-2 upgrade.

Transparency 🙈

OpenAI's refusal to let third parties assess its algorithm makes it difficult to understand how it works, and how its risks can be managed.

News, commentary, analysis 🗞️

Page info
Type: System
Published: November 2022
Last updated: March 2024