Midjourney image generator

Midjourney is a subscription-based AI programme created by a company of the same name that creates images from textual descriptions. 

Midjourney was available in open beta since its launch in July 2022 via a Discord bot on its official Discord. In March 2023, Midjourney version 5 was released, significantly improving the quality of images depicting people.

Operator: Midjourney
Developer: Midjourney

Country: Global

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Generate images

Technology: Text-to-image; Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Copyright; Ethics; Employment; Privacy; Safety

Transparency: Governance; Black box; Marketing; Privacy

Risks and harms 🛑

Midjourney has been accused of discrimination, copyright abuse, generating offensive content and misinformation, poor transparency, and killing jobs.



Midjourney and similar AI image generation tools have been criticised for being trained on human-made art scraped from the web, and copied or remixed without attribution. 

Midjourney and similar services also faced public backlashes from prominent art communities and artists, notably after Midjourney founder David Holz outraged artists, illustrators and photographers by confessing to using hundreds of millions of images Midjourney didn’t have permission for to train its AI image generator.




While Midjourney is generally considered safer than Stable Diffusion, DALL-E and other image generation systems, it has still proved possible to produce images of pornstars and other NSFW content.

Transparency 🙈

Artists can request their work to be removed from Midjourney if they believe their copyright has been infringed. 

However, Midjourney only introduced the feature after artists complained, and then made it challenging for artists to remove their work by burying the information in the app terms of service.

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

News, commentary, analysis 🗞️

Page info
Type: System
Published: December 2022
Last updated: May 2024