From Pope Francis in a puffer jacket to Wes Anderson-inspired trailers, AI-generated imagery has become increasingly common on the internet. It’s not hard to see why – modern AI tools have become so compelling that their images have even won prestigious photography awards. You also don’t have to be a talented artist or photographer to generate beautiful art. If you’ve ever used a chatbot like ChatGPT or Bing Chat, you’ll feel right at home using one of the best AI image generators.
To generate an AI image, all you need is a text prompt describing the scene you have in mind. For example, I used the prompt “New York City’s golden hour with towering skyscrapers and busy streets” in one of the images below. Your imagination can go much further, however, with step-by-step prompts that specify every intricate detail.
So with those capabilities in mind, here is our list of the best AI image generators currently available. We will keep this list updated as technology continues to evolve.
The Best AI Image Generators
From free to paid and simple to complex, you’ll quickly learn that no two AI image generators work the same. In fact, almost all of them also differ in terms of the underlying machine learning models. This means that identical prompts will give you different results depending on which generator you are using. To that end, here are your options:
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While Midjourney wasn’t the first AI image generator, it has now become the go-to choice for many. Indeed, the latest V5 iteration of Midjourney outpaced most of the competition. In some cases, the results it produces can look photorealistic, but with a few minor errors that reveal its AI heritage.
Unlike most of the other services on this list, you can’t access Midjourney through a website or app. Instead, you’ll need to use Discord – the commonly used chat app for gaming communities. That’s not a bad thing, though, as Discord works on all major platforms, including a web browser. To get started, simply create an account and join the Midjourney Discord server. You may need to agree to the terms of service before you start, but that’s the only barrier to entry.
Midjourney has become everyone’s go-to image generator.
New members can only generate a limited number of free images (about 25) in a free trial. However, Midjourney disables the free trial during peak traffic times. The cheapest way to use the service is a $10 monthly subscription. You can save a little more if you commit to subscribing for a full year. Unfortunately, this tier still only grants you around 200 images per month.
While you can use Midjourney with basic prompts that only contain a few words (or even an emoji), its real power is in the settings. For example, you can specify a 16:9 aspect ratio using the
--ar setting or create anime style images with
Zak Khan / Android Authority
DALL-E became the first generative AI to enter the mainstream when it launched in 2021. The latest version, DALL-E 2, takes things to another level with better language understanding capabilities and better imagery. quality. It can also modify existing images, allowing you to replace or add entirely new objects.
OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, created DALL-E. The company used its great GPT-3 language model as a base, which is how the image builder understands your prompts.
Using DALL-E is quite simple and straightforward. You will need an OpenAI account, which you may already have if you have used ChatGPT before. Once logged in, you can enter your prompt in the text box and press the Generate button.
DALL-E was the first AI image generator to gain traction, but it’s not always the best option.
Each image you generate will cost one credit. Unfortunately, DALL-E no longer gives new users any way to get free credits. This practice ended in April 2023, so if you create an account today, you will need to purchase credits. You will need to load $15 each time, which gives 115 credits. That works out to around 13 cents per use, which isn’t too bad for one of the best AI image generators out there.
That said, you can still use DALL-E for free through Microsoft’s Bing Chat. Scroll down to learn more about how to do this.
Stable streaming online
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Unlike the other AI image generators on this list, Stable Diffusion is completely free and open-source. If you have a powerful computer with a dedicated graphics card, you can even download and run the model yourself. Even better, it works completely offline. However, this is not an option for everyone as the minimum requirements call for a GPU with 8GB of VRAM. This disqualifies most computers not intended for gaming or workstations.
Stable Diffusion is a free and open source machine learning model for image generation.
The good news? You can use Stable Diffusion to generate images entirely in your web browser. Simply visit the StableDiffusionOnline website and type in a prompt. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
You don’t need an account, but your results will be saved and visible to others. For maximum privacy, you will need to run the model on your own computer. You also can’t see your personal build history, so it’s only for one-time use. That said, the platform allows you to browse past prompts and their results. This can be useful when you lack artistic inspiration.
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority
Although StableDiffusionOnline from the section above works quite well for a free service, it is not very comprehensive. You can’t customize the image size, for example, or change them after generation. But luckily, the creators of Stable Diffusion, Stability AI, have just the solution in the form of DreamStudio.
As soon as you open DreamStudio, you will notice that it looks like a fancy application with lots of buttons and dials. You can generate multiple images at once (or fewer), change the aspect ratio, omit certain elements in your AI-generated masterpiece, and more. DreamStudio also offers different “styles”, covering everything from photorealism to origami and cartoon looks.
From different styles to various editing features, DreamStudio offers a highly customizable experience.
In addition to all this, you can also add and remove objects in your AI generated images using the edit tab. For example, try using the eraser tool to remove certain parts of the image. Then type a prompt to fill in the blank space.
As an official and very refined product, DreamStudio costs money to use. But the good news is that you get 25 free credits when you sign up, which will net you 125 generations. Beyond that, the $10 minimum purchase grants you 1,000 tokens or roughly 5,000 AI-generated images.
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Microsoft’s Bing search engine gained a powerful new chat mode shortly after the release of ChatGPT. Since then, it’s only gotten better with the company’s addition of a free AI image generator into the mix. The service, dubbed Bing Image Creator, now has a dedicated page with ideas and instructions on how to use it.
Since Microsoft works closely with ChatGPT’s creator, OpenAI, it’s no surprise that Bing’s image creator uses DALL-E under the hood. This means that if you run out of free credits on one platform, you can simply switch to another.
Bing Chat’s image generation uses DALL-E under the hood and doesn’t cost a penny.
When you sign in with your Microsoft account, the image creator automatically grants you 100 “boosts”. These are basically credits that allow you to generate a new image almost instantly. Boosts automatically replenish each week and you cannot pay more credits at this point. What happens when you run out of boosts? As the name suggests, you will have to wait much longer. But the good news is that you will still be able to generate unlimited images for free.
You can also access the image builder via vanilla Bing Chat, even on mobile. Just switch to creative mode and start your prompt with “Generate an image of…”. This method follows the same limit as the chatbot for now, at 200 conversation threads per day.
That’s it for our list of the best AI image generators available today. Have you ever used any of them? Let us know which one you would use against the competition in the poll below.
Which AI image generator do you think best suits your needs?