Simon Willison’s Weblog


5 items tagged “midjourney”


On being listed in the court document as one of the artists whose work was used to train Midjourney, alongside 4,000 of my closest friends (via) Poignant webcomic from Cat and Girl.

“I want to make my little thing and put it out in the world and hope that sometimes it means something to somebody else.

Without exploiting anyone.

And without being exploited.” # 16th January 2024, 7:02 pm


Midjourney 5.1

Midjourney released version 5.1 of their image generation model on Tuesday. Here’s their announcement on Twitter—if you have a Discord account there’s a more detailed Discord announcement here.

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My guess is that MidJourney has been doing a massive-scale reinforcement learning from human feedback (“RLHF”)—possibly the largest ever for text-to-image.

When human users choose to upscale an image, it’s because they prefer it over the alternatives. It’d be a huge waste not to use this as a reward signal—cheap to collect, and *exactly* aligned with what your user base wants.

The more users you have, the better RLHF you can do. And then the more users you gain.

Jim Fan # 5th April 2023, 4:45 am

I lost everything that made me love my job through Midjourney over night. A poster on r/blender describes how their job creating graphics for mobile games has switched from creating 3D models for rendering 2D art to prompting Midjourney v5 and cleaning up the results in Photoshop. “I am now able to create, rig and animate a character thats spit out from MJ in 2-3 days. Before, it took us several weeks in 3D. [...] I always was very sure I wouldn’t lose my job, because I produce slightly better quality. This advantage is gone, and so is my hope for using my own creative energy to create.” # 27th March 2023, 3:17 am


For these reasons, I don’t think I’ll be using Midjourney or any similar tool to illustrate my newsletter going forward (an exception would be if I were writing about the technology at a later date and wanted to show examples). Even though the job wouldn’t go to a different, deserving, human artist, I think the optics are shitty, and I do worry about having any role in helping to set any kind of precedent in this direction.

Charlie Warzel # 4th September 2022, 9:06 pm