OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 can also edit images and could possibly compete with Photoshop – if it doesn’t directly replace photography.
But when OpenAI introduced DALL-E 2, the company already showed that the system can also take images as input and then modify or enhance them.
DALL-E 2 could compete with Photoshop
Photographer Nicholas Sherlock fed DALL-E 2 an out-of-focus photo of a ladybug. He then gave the image AI the task of generating a similar image. For this, he used the command: “Ladybug on a leaf, focus stacked high-resolution macro photograph.” You can see the result in the following image.
DALL-E 2 created a very similar but sharp macro photo of a ladybug based on the input photo. However, the AI system has added more dots (DALL-E 2 can’t count) on the ladybug’s back and it looks a bit slimmer. So it’s not the same image, just sharper; it’s a new, almost identical image.
DALL-E 2 generates additional perspectives or paints into existing images
Photographer Micael Widell summarizes this and other examples of image editing with DALL-E 2 in a YouTube video (see below) – and seems quite impressed.
Also because DALL-E 2 can do even more: for example, create multiple perspectives of the same subject based on a single photo, place additional elements credibly in photos (inpainting) – the Photoshop classic – or extend an existing subject with additional areas that match the subject (outpainting).
Widell believes that systems like DALL-E 2 will one day be able to create perfect photographs of any subject imaginable – and points to the rapid development of smartphone cameras as an example of how technology is changing photography.
“If a system like this can produce images like this in its first iteration, you can be damn sure it will be perfect in ten years,” says the professional photographer. Accordingly, Widell wonders what role photographers will play in the future or whether AI could even mean the “death of photography.” He does not yet have an answer to that.