If you have seen photos of a teapot shaped like an avocado or read a well-written article that veers off on slightly weird tangents, you may have been exposed to a new trend in artificial intelligence.
DALL·E 2 is here! It can generate images from text, like "teddy bears working on new AI research on the moon in the 1980s".— Sam Altman (@sama) April 6, 2022
It's so fun, and sometimes beautiful.https://t.co/XZmh6WkMAS pic.twitter.com/3zOu30IqCZ
These systems are known as “foundation models” and are not all hype and party tricks. So how does this new approach to artificial intelligence work? And will it be the end of human creativity and the start of a deep-fake nightmare?
1. What are foundation models?
Foundation models work by training a single huge system on large amounts of general data, then adapting the system to new problems. Earlier models tended to start from scratch for each new problem.
DALL-E 2, for example, was trained to match pictures (such as a photo of a pet cat) with the caption (“Mr Fuzzyboots the tabby cat is relaxing in the sun”) by scanning hundreds of millions of examples. Once trained, this model knows what cats (and other things) look...