DALL-E mini uses artificial intelligence to create images. Who gets credit? : NPR

DALL-E mini is the AI bringing to life all of the goofy “what if” questions you never asked: What if Voldemort was a member of Green Day? What if there was a McDonald’s in Mordor? What if scientists sent a Roomba to the bottom of the Mariana Trench?

You don’t have to wonder what a Roomba cleaning the bottom of the Mariana Trench would look like anymore. DALL-E mini can show you.

DALL-E mini is an online text-to-image generator that has exploded in popularity on social media in recent weeks.

The program takes a text phrase — like “mountain sunset,” “Eiffel tower on the moon,” “Obama making a sand castle,” or anything else you could possibly imagine — and creates an image out of it.

The results can be strangely beautiful, like “synthwave buddha,” or “a chicken nugget smoking a cigarette in the rain.” Others, like “Teletubbies in nursing home,” are truly terrifying.

DALL-E mini gained internet notoriety after social media users started using the program to mash recognizable pop culture icons into bizarre, photorealistic memes.

Boris Dayma, a Texas-based computer engineer, originally created DALL-E mini as an entry in a coding competition. Dayma’s program gets its name from the AI it’s based on: Inspired by the artificial intelligence company OpenAI’s incredibly powerful DALL-E, DALL-E mini is basically a web app that applies similar technology in a more easily accessible way. (Dayma has since renamed DALL-E mini to Craiyon at the company’s request).

While OpenAI restricts most access to its models, Dayma’s model can be used by anyone on the internet, and it was developed through collaboration with the AI research communities on Twitter and GitHub.

“I would get interesting feedback and suggestions from the AI community,” Dayma told NPR over the phone. “And it became better, and better, and

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