Dall-E Mini, the AI-powered text-to-image generator has taken over the internet. With its ability to render nearly anything your meme-loving heart desires, anyone can make their dreams come true.
DALL-E 2, a portmanteau of Salvador Dali, the surrealist and Wall-E, the Pixar robot, was created by OpenAI and is not widely available; it creates far cleaner imagery and was recently used to launch Cosmpolitan’s first AI-generated cover. The art world has been one of the first industries to truly embrace AI.
The open-sourced miniature version is what’s responsible for the memes. Programmer Boris Dayma wants to make AI more accessible; he built the Dall-E Mini program as part of a competition held by Google and an AI community called Hugging Face.
And with great technology, comes great memes. Typing a short phrase into Dall-E Mini will manifest 9 different amalgamations, theoretically shaping into reality the strange images you’ve conjured. Its popularity leads to too much traffic, often resulting in an error that can be fixed by refreshing the page or trying again later.
If you want to be a part of the creation of AI-powered engines, it all starts with code. CodeAcademy explains that Dall-E Mini is a seq2seq model, “typically used in natural language processing (NLP) for things like translation and conversational modeling.” CodeAcademy’s Text Generation course will teach you how to utilize seq2seq, but they also offer opportunities to learn 14+ coding languages at your own pace.
You can choose the Machine Learning Specialist career path if you want to become a Data Scientist who develops these types of programs, but you can also choose courses by language, subject (what is cybersecurity?) or even skill - build a website with HTML, CSS, and more.
CodeAcademy offers many classes for free as well as a free trial; it’s an invaluable resource for giving people of all experience levels the fundamentals they need to build the world they want to see.
As for Dall-E Mini, while some have opted to create beauty, most have opted for memes. Here are some of the internet’s favorites:
no fuck every other dall-e image ive made this one is the best yet pic.twitter.com/iuFNm4UTUM
— bri (@takoyamas) June 10, 2022
There’s no looking back now, not once you’ve seen Pugachu; artificial intelligence is here to stay.
Scientists have discovered an interesting link between prescription medication and depression.
Since 2013, the diagnosis of major depression in the United States has risen by a staggering 33% and people have noticed. Pharmaceutical companies spend millions on advertising trying to convince the general public that Prozac and Zoloft are the answer. Others blame social media addiction or the fact that Millennials, the group most acutely affected by this issue, are dealing with nearly insurmountable student loan debt. There are hundreds of theories bouncing around between psychology departments and media talking heads, but in reality there's probably no one root cause. That said, a new study in the Journal of the American Medicine Association (JAMA) by Dima Mazan Qato may have just uncovered a new log to toss onto the already raging fire. According to the report, common prescription medicines–so common they're in an estimated one third of American households–may be contributing to the rising rate of depression in the United States.
The study includes drugs like beta-blockers, prescription strength ibuprofen, and birth control pills, but stops short of saying that these definitely cause symptoms of depression in otherwise healthy individuals on their own. The real danger occurs when prescriptions are mixed. It's perfectly normal for people to need more than one medication to help them with their health issues but Qato's finding suggest that when drugs are mixed, their side effects can be compounded.
Interestingly, the percentage of drugs which list depression or suicidal thoughts as symptoms–here's a list of over 200 from the New York Times– has been steadily creeping up over the past decade, from 35% in 2005 to 38.4% in 2014. In the same period, the percentage of adults concurrently taking three or more drugs rose from 6.9% to 9.5% and the usage of medications that list suicidal thoughts and depression as side effects has increased from 17.3% to 23.5%. To a layman or (very) ametuer logician, it's easy to extrapolate a cause and effect relationship from this data, but Qato advises against this, as the data's meaning isn't completely clear. What is clear, however, is that suicide rates have been steadily increasing since the beginning of the 21st century.
Dr. Philip Muskin, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia and secretary of the American Psychiatric Association suggests that the information in Qato's study, while not definitive, should be enough to warn doctors that their prescription pad can be a dangerous and unwieldy tool. The hope is that medical professionals will not hand out drugs like ibuprofen willy-nilly but rather take their side effects into account and discuss these side effects with their patients before prescribing.
Matt Clibanoff is a writer and editor based in New York City who covers music, politics, sports and pop culture. His editorial work can be found in Inked Magazine, Pop Dust, The Liberty Project, and All Things Go. His fiction has been published in Forth Magazine. -- Find Matt at his website and on Twitter: @mattclibanoff
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