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Midjourney Halts Free Trials of AI Image Generator Over Abusive Misuse

CEO David Holz says, ‘We’re still trying to figure out how to bring free trials back’

Independent research lab and creator of AI image generator platform Midjourney has ended the free trials of its service after a sudden influx of new users.

The company says it was forced to make the decision to end the free trial, “Because of massive amounts of people making throwaway accounts to get free images,” said Midjourney CEO and founder David Holz via The Verge.

The CEO also took to Midjourney’s official Discord server to announce the change, citing, “Extraordinary demand and trial abuse.”

“We think the culprit was probably a viral how-to video in China,” said Holz. “This happened at the same time as a temporary GPU shortage. The two things came together and it was bringing down the service for paid users.”

Midjourney made its way to the spotlight after it was recently used to create fake images of former U.S president Donald Trump being arrested as well as an image of the pope wearing a stylish white jacket that some believed were real photos.

A more stringent solution is required

“Moderation is hard and we’ll be shipping improved systems soon. We’re taking lots of feedback and ideas from experts and the community and are trying to be really thoughtful,” Holz told The Verge.

Despite the company’s decision to suspend free trials, its monthly subscription fees currently range from $10 to $60. And although this move could advertently reduce the number of users, the subscription fee won’t stop bad actors from sharing fabricated images across the internet.

The company is currently spitballing ways of allowing new users to try out its AI image generator before deciding to subscribe. “We’re still trying to figure out how to bring free trials back, we tried to require an active email but that wasn’t enough so we’re back to the drawing board,” said Holz.

Since it launched, Midjourney has been upgraded with the latest being version 5 which comes with significantly improved image quality that can depict people and especially celebrities.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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