Midjourney suspends free trial amid influx of new users
Midjourney CEO David Holz announced in a Discord post on Tuesday morning that the free trial service for new users will be discontinued, citing "unusual demand and trial abuse." In an email from David Holz in response to the media, he further explained why the service was discontinued: "A large number of people created one-time accounts in order to get free pictures".
David Holz said in an email that "the reason for the abnormal increase in new users may be due to the viral spread of a how-to tutorial video on the Internet in China", "this thing happened at the same time as the GPU shortage. It reduces the experience of paid users.”
Regarding the "abuse" mentioned by David Holz in Tuesday's post, it was initially interpreted by many media people as being related to a series of viral images created by English-language users using Midjourney, including the arrest of Donald Trump and the pope wearing a stylish jacket A fabricated image that some have mistaken for a real photo. However, Holz would dismiss this as a complete "misunderstanding," noting that Midjourney's free trial never included access to the latest version of Midjourney. Those AI-generated images that are considered real images are all generated by the latest V5 version.
Midjourney V5 significantly improves the image quality for depicting people. For example, misshapen hands that were previously a hallmark of AI-generated images can now be easily resolved. Ambient lighting and fabrics are also more realistic, and the system is capable of generating countless images of celebrities and public figures.
These improvements have resulted in a number of Midjourney images going viral in recent weeks. Not only do they include fake pictures of Trump being arrested and the Pope looking stylish, but French President Emmanuel Macron walking through ongoing protests in Paris, Elon Musk with Alexandria Ocasio — Cortez holds hands.
How does Midjourney respond to the turmoil caused by AI mapping?
Midjourney, apparently caught off guard by the threat of politically sensitive AI imagery, has yet to make any major changes to its moderation policies. Still, the CEO said Midjourney is working to improve its moderation policies. He wrote: "I think we're still trying to figure out what constitutes reasonable moderation. We're listening to feedback from experts and the community and trying to be really thoughtful. We've got some new systems coming soon."
In fact, Holz previously posted that Midjourney maintains a list of banned words "related to topics in different countries based on complaints from users in the country". But it didn't share the full version of this list to minimize "tower rushing". As Holz said last year, "Few people notice that taboo words exist unless they're specifically trying to create prompts that violate our terms of service.
As many of you may have noticed, Midjourney has started patching this list with the recent frenzy of many generated images. For example, the word "arrested" was recently banned. It appeared to be a response to a popular Twitter thread depicting midway images of Trump's arrest, created by investigative reporter Eliot Higgins. And Eliot Higgins has now been "banned from using Midjourney".
It’s just that this restriction can be easily bypassed. Taking “arrested” as an example, using “surrounded by police in handcuffs” can generate pictures with exactly the same meaning.
Restoring the free trial will take time
On Friday, Midjourney released a product update, but has not yet restored the free trial feature. It's going to take a little while to think," Holz said.