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  • Annika Oyung Larson

REVIEW: Dall-E Mini AI Image Generator

Grade: C

Dall-E Mini, an AI model, is the current trendy website populating meme page feeds. The platform features a somewhat antiquated user interface with a simplified layout. The home page reads DALL-E mini with the explanation "AI model generating images from any prompt!" with a search bar underneath. To search, you type in a description of any image, the more absurd, the better, and click the "Run" button. Based on the description you enter, Dall-E attempts to form an image on it to the best of its ability, an ability that is often not remarkably accurate. The platform merges surrealism with an "uncanny valley" quality to form warped images of celebrities and objects in familiar settings or situations, depending on the prompt used.

During periods of higher website traffic, which is almost constant right now given the meme style's popularity, Dall-E displays a "Too much traffic, try again" error message that usually appears the first 5-10 times you press the "Run" button. Sometimes copying the website address into a new window can assist with streamlining the process. If you are patient enough to persist with hitting the "Run" button, the loading icon finally starts to turn, and a second counter will appear at the top right corner.

With a buffering time of 120+ seconds, Dall-E makes you wait. This can be a good thing, but when the quality of the images Dall-E generates is not guaranteed, it can be frustrating. Waiting two minutes for a picture of "Playboi Carti working at Subway" can be a lot to ask for a busy meme page admin. Being unable to leave the page and needing to tap the phone screen every 20 seconds to ensure it doesn't go dark, only to receive a blurred and warped image of Carti's face with no Subway uniform or sandwich in sight, can be disappointing. Searching "Grimes in the oval office" had a similarly inaccurate result. But the platform harkens back to a time of early internet domain, a reality few Gen Zers had the chance to experience. In a world of instant searching and streaming, maybe it is good that Dall-E makes us slow down for a moment. Patience is a virtue, after all.

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