* This blog post is a summary of this video.

Will There Be a DALL-E 3? Speculating the Future of AI Image Generation

Author: MattVidPro AITime: 2023-12-29 14:05:01

Table of Contents

The Declining Popularity of DALL-E 2 Reflected in Google Trends Data

DALL-E 2, OpenAI's AI image generator, experienced a surge in popularity after its initial release in April 2022. However, interest has declined steadily since then, as evidenced by Google Trends data on search volume for the term "DALL-E 2". At its peak in April, search interest was nearly 5 times higher than current levels in December 2023.

This declining trend raises questions about whether OpenAI plans to continue investing resources into iterating and improving DALL-E 2, or if they view it as a completed project that has already served its purpose.

Google Trends Data Showing the Downward Trend

The Google Trends chart for "DALL-E 2" searches shows interest peaking in April 2022, coinciding with the initial preview launch. Interest remained high through May and June as more people gained access to try the system. However, searches started to steadily decline over the summer and have continued to trend downward through the fall and into winter 2023. Current search levels are less than 20% of what they were at the peak.

Competition from Newer Models Like Midjourney and Imagen

The declining interest in DALL-E 2 also coincides with the launch and growth in popularity of competing AI image generation systems like Midjourney and Imagen. These newer systems have shown improvements in image quality, creativity, and coherence compared to the original DALL-E 2 release. For many users, they seem to produce more appealing results on average.

OpenAI's True Mission Is Not To Compete But Advance AI

While DALL-E 2 has been OpenAI's most publicly visible product release so far, competition with other vendors does not actually align with their core organizational mission.

As stated clearly in their original DALL-E 2 announcement in April, their goal is not commercial success or market dominance. Rather, it is to advance AI capabilities in order to "benefit humanity" and ensure advanced systems remain safe and trustworthy.

DALL-E 2 May Have Already Fulfilled Its Purpose

Given OpenAI's mission focus on benefiting humanity by advancing AI, it can actually be argued that DALL-E 2 has already fulfilled its purpose even without further updates.

The impact of DALL-E 2 has pushed other vendors to significantly improve their own image generation systems. Systems like Imagen and the latest Midjourney release produce images with quality and creativity that likely wouldn't exist without DALL-E 2 raising the bar.

The Winding Down of DALL-E 2 Updates and Focus Shifting

Reviewing the timeline of OpenAI's DALL-E 2 communications also suggests that their focus has already shifted away from iteratively improving it as a commercial product.

After the initial preview launch in April 2022, most updates focused on expanding access, mitigating biases, and improving creative capabilities. However, update velocity slowed significantly after the September public API release.

The Likely Conclusion - No DALL-E 3, But Maybe DALL-E Video

Given all of these factors, the conclusion is that OpenAI is unlikely to invest in a "DALL-E 3" successor focused specifically on better quality image generation.

However, they probably will continue advancing AI capabilities in adjacent spaces like text-to-video generation. So while "DALL-E 3" seems unlikely, a product called "DALL-E Video" would align much better with their core mission.


Q: Is DALL-E 2 still the best AI image generator?
A: No, newer models like Midjourney and Imagen seem to be surpassing it in quality and capabilities.

Q: What is OpenAI's true mission?
A: OpenAI's mission is not to compete in AI technologies, but to advance AI research for the benefit of humanity.

Q: Has DALL-E 2 fulfilled its intended purpose?
A: Arguably yes - it has spurred competition and advances in other image generators like Midjourney and Imagen.

Q: Will there be a DALL-E 3?
A: Unlikely - it seems OpenAI is moving on from iteratively updating DALL-E.

Q: What AI product might OpenAI create instead?
A: Possibly DALL-E Video - a text-to-video generator.