Simon Willison’s Weblog

9 items tagged “dalle”


The AI that creates any picture you want, explained. Vox made this explainer video about text-to-image generative AI models back in June, months before Stable Diffusion was released and shortly before the DALL-E preview started rolling out to a wider audience. It’s a really good video—in particular the animation that explains at a high level how diffusion models work, which starts about 5m30s in. # 10th October 2022, 3:28 am

Stable Diffusion is a really big deal

If you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on with Stable Diffusion, you really should be.

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Stable Diffusion Public Release (via) New AI just dropped. Stable Diffusion is similar to DALL-E, but completely open source and with a CC0 license applied to everything it generates. I have a Twitter thread (the via) link of comparisons I’ve made between its output and my previous DALL-E experiments. The announcement buries the lede somewhat: to try it out, visit—which you can use for free at the moment, but it’s unclear to me how billing is supposed to work. # 22nd August 2022, 7:12 pm

Litestream backups for Datasette Cloud (and weeknotes)

My main focus this week has been adding robust backups to the forthcoming Datasette Cloud.

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How I Used DALL·E 2 to Generate The Logo for OctoSQL (via) Jacob Martin gives a blow-by-blow account of his attempts at creating a logo for his OctoSQL project using DALL-E, spending $30 of credits and making extensive use of both the “variations” feature and the tool that lets you request modifications to existing images by painting over parts you want to regenerate. Really interesting to read as an example of a “real world” DALL-E project. # 2nd August 2022, 9:12 pm

The DALL·E 2 Prompt Book (via) This is effectively DALL-E: The Missing Manual: an 81 page PDF book that goes into exhaustive detail about how to get the most out of DALL-E through creative prompt design. # 14th July 2022, 11:26 pm

First impressions of DALL-E, generating images from text

I made it off the DALL-E waiting list a few days ago and I’ve been having an enormous amount of fun experimenting with it. Here are some notes on what I’ve learned so far (and a bunch of example images too).

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How Imagen Actually Works. Imagen is Google’s new text-to-image model, similar to (but possibly even more effective than) DALL-E. This article is the clearest explanation I’ve seen of how Imagen works: it uses Google’s existing T5 text encoder to convert the input sentence into an encoding that captures the semantic meaning of the sentence (including things like items being described as being on top of other items), then uses a trained diffusion model to generate a 64x64 image. That image is passed through two super-res models to increase the resolution to the final 1024x1024 output. # 23rd June 2022, 6:05 pm


DALL·E: Creating Images from Text (via) “DALL·E is a 12-billion parameter version of GPT-3 trained to generate images from text descriptions, using a dataset of text–image pairs.”. The examples in this paper are astonishing—“an illustration of a baby daikon radish in a tutu walking a dog” generates exactly that. # 5th January 2021, 8:31 pm