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Midjourney terminates free trials of AI image generator following “extraordinary abuse”

The company's tech is behind several viral AI-generated images

After several weeks of being under the public’s collective microscope for less-than-positive reasons, Midjourney is ending the availability of free trials for its AI image generator. Several viral images crafted with Midjourney’s technology quickly went viral, including an AI-generated image of Donald Trump being arrested and an image of the Pope wearing a puffy down jacket.

Originally, as reported by The Washington Post, CEO and founder David Holz announced on Discord the cessation of free trials due to “extraordinary demand and trial abuse,” acknowledging that the current safeguards employed were not “sufficient” for preventing abuse. However, in an email to The Verge, Holz later stated that axing free trials was due to “because of massive amounts of people making throwaway accounts to get free images.”

See also: In the United States, thousands scammed out of cash by AI mimicking loved one’s voices

It should be noted that, as Holz mentions, the viral images were most likely created by Version 5 (the most recent and powerful version) of Midjourney, which was never available for a free trial. As such, this could simply be a case of unfortunate timing for the image generation company, whose industry’s technology has been the subject of public debate and discourse.

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