After deepfakes go viral, AI image generator Midjourney stops free trials citing ‘abuse’

Midjourney’s software can be used to create misinformation, like fake images of Donald Trump being arrested. | Image: Will Joel / The Verge

AI image generator Midjourney has halted free trials of its service after a number of its generations — including fabricated images of Donald Trump being arrested and the pope wearing a stylish jacket — went viral online, with many mistaking the fakes for real photographs. Midjourney CEO and founder David Holz announced the change on Tuesday, citing “extraordinary demand and trial abuse” (spotted via The Washington Post).

Previously, Midjourney allowed anyone to sign up to use its software via Discord, offering 25 free image generations before charging subscriptions starting at $10 a month. Although experts have been warning for years about the potential of AI to generate misinformation, this was not previously a huge problem given that…

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