“With Midjourney 6, it’s now possible to rely entirely on AI images for my websites.”
Those words — spoken by a large, well known independent online publisher — should strike fear into the hearts of anyone in the photography industry.
I agree with the publisher. Using Midjourney’s new Version 6 doesn’t initially feel revolutionary. But once you dig deeper, you begin to realize it’s a massive step forward for AI-generated imagery.
For a specific kind of photo, Midjourney’s output will indeed eliminate the need for human photographers. Here’s why — and how photographers must adapt.
An Impactful Luncheon
AI image generators like DALL-E and Midjourney have become remarkably powerful in a remarkably short time.
I still vividly remember attending a conference for my industry trade group, the Digital Media Licensing Association, in 2019. DMLA brought in experts from big AI-focused companies like IBM and Microsoft to talk about the then-hot AI topic: automated tagging of objects in images.
The experts did indeed address that topic. But during lunch on the rooftop sundeck of the Mariott in Marina Del Rey, four of the AI panelists chose to sit together. I tagged along and listened in.
Chatting casually among themselves, these leading AI researchers and practitioners agreed on one thing: image tagging is cool, but give the tech a couple of years, and it will be generating new images based on a couple of sentences of text.