DALL·E - Is It Free?

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, imagines in a busy room - Is DALL.E free?
Credit: August Kamp via openai

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer, imagines in a busy room - Is DALL.E free?
Credit: August Kamp via openai

Is DALL·E free? With the growing popularity of AI to create images, people are asking if it's possible to use the image-generating tool for free. Or, if it's only possible to use DALL·E by paying for it.

We've looked extensively at one of DALL·E's rivals, Midjourney AI and how to use Midjourney. And we know just how good that is at producing beautiful art, alongside if Midjourney is free.

Today, we'll take a closer look at DALL·E, and answer the key question, is DALL·E free?

Is DALL·E Free?

DALL·E 2 (the latest iteration of the software) is entering beta testing. And as a result, they have opened access to a much wider audience than before.

The team behind the system will be inviting 1 million people from their waitlist to try it for themselves. So if you were hoping that you could just download it and start using it, sorry to disappoint you. You need to join the waitlist, and hope you are one of the lucky ones.

And if you are one of the lucky ones, then you'll find yourself restricted in terms of how much art you can generate, unless you're willing to pay.

According to the relevant OpenAI blog post, users will receive 50 free credits during their first month of use, and 15 free credits every subsequent month. So in this regard, DALL·E is free to use.

If you run out of credits, you can buy additional credits in 115-generation increments, for $15 (equivalent to 460 images). For every prompt, DALL·E generates four new images. The Edit and Variations features generate three images. So you can quickly burn through credits. At this stage, DALL·E is no longer free to use.

The original version of DALL·E was free to use, but access was even more limited than it was for DALL·E 2. And the more people use the tool, the more demand there will be on their servers, which don't come cheap. So it isn't surprising to see them introducing some form of monetisation, especially for people who want to use the service more.

In exchange, OpenAI is granting users "full image rights" over anything they create in DALL·E 2. This means you get the right to sell and reprint images or use them on merchandise.

Finally, OpenAI has stated that it hopes to make DALL·E as accessible as possible. And in pursuit of that goal, they are allowing artists who are in need of financial assistance to apply for subsidised access. Artists can express their interest by completing a form.

What Is DALL·E?

DALL·E is what is known as a text-to-image AI art generator. It takes prompts from the user, and uses those prompts to generate a unique image. It is one of several, such as Midjourney AI and Artbreeder.

DALL·E has a database of over 650 million image and caption combinations that it uses to help create images. And the creators have worked hard to stop DALL·E from generating images that might cause harm.

Technologies such as DALL·E have a lot of potential, and they are really only beginning to scratch the surface. If it's something you want to experience for yourself, then you can do so without paying for it. But that's assuming you are lucky enough to be invited to join the beta test.

And if you need some help figuring out how to phrase your prompt to get the perfect result, check out the Dall.ery gall.ery. There, you'll find the Dall.E 2 prompt book, which will help you to hone your prompts.

If you can't wait, check out how to run Stable Diffusion AI, or take a look at this AI comic book.

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