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.
Selena Gomez, Swizz Beatz, Pete Souza, and many others have also contributed playlists to the initiative, designed to bring more happiness and hope to the voting process.
The election may be freaking you out, bumming you out, or just reinforcing what you already felt about America—but Joy to the Polls is trying to change that.
Too often, voting is a solemn, dread-filled experience. Long lines, high tensions, suppression, and the looming threat of COVID-19 have all made it uniquely difficult for people to get out to the vote in 2020.
But Joy to the Polls is based on the idea that it doesn't have to be this way—in fact, it shouldn't be this way. People have fought and died for our right to vote, and voting is our opportunity to create new beginnings in our nation. The process should be a celebration, not a nightmare.
"We have rampant voter suppression in the US," says Nelini Stamp, campaign director with Election Defenders and performer and organizer with Joy to the Polls. "We wanted to figure out a way so while people are outside of the polling station, we can bring them a feeling of safety and a feeling of joy."
Using the power of music and community, Joy to the Polls is an effort to rally and inspire as many people as possible on November 3rd. The group first gained notoriety when they sent artists to greet people voting early in Philadelphia, and a video of dancers doing the cha-cha outside a middle school garnered praise from Wanda Sykes and Ava DuVernay.
I love us so much. We rise. Always. https://t.co/bEySCGf2hr— Ava DuVernay (@Ava DuVernay) 1603658011.0
Since then, Joy to the Polls has launched a number of online and real-life efforts to make voting more joyful and musical. In NYC, punk rock legend Patti Smith was seen singing "People Have the Power" to a group of lucky early voters.
Their Spotify is also star-studded, complete with a number of playlists curated by high-profile musicians. So far, contributors have included America Ferrara, Billie Joe Armstrong, Busy Philipps, Hank Willis Thomas, Katie Couric, Kimbra, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Maggie Rogers, Marisa Tomei, My Morning Jacket, Questlove, Selena Gomez, and Swizz Beatz. Former president Barack Obama also contributed a list of throwback jams in honor of the cause. View the full list of contributors here.
Joy to the Polls is trying to reach as many people as possible across the country, and they're urging artists, performers, and community members to sign up to bring Joy to the Polls in their own way. Here's their national toolkit.
Joy to the Polls' number one focus (in addition to getting out the vote) is on making sure the election is fair and democratic. To that end, they're partners with Election Defenders, a movement dedicated to rallying leaders in local areas and defending the integrity of the 2020 election.
These movements were born out of urgency, in response to Trump's insinuations that he might not accept the election results, as well as ongoing voter suppression, ballot issues, and other problems that threaten democracy. Election Defenders has promised to organize peaceful mass mobilizations and strikes–if the election is not run fairly.
But none of that will be necessary if the election is run fairly. Joy to the Polls is trying to actually get people out to the polls to make sure this happens. Hopelessness is a major issue in America, and millions of people feel like their voices don't count or their fates are out of their control.
Every voice does count, and we all have the power to help elect local champions and create grassroots change. Short of that, it's still possible to dance and sing even in the most difficult of times. In fact, music tends to show up right when it's needed most—when things look most dismal, or when democracy is most frayed and revolution is most needed. In that respect, Joy to the Polls is operating in the revolutionary tradition of past radical creative traditions.
"It's understandable why people feel a lack of hope, or a lack of agency right now," said organizer Nelini Stamp. "But we are just trying to say, you know what? If we can make people feel good for 30 minutes in a two, three, or four-hour line, if we can help people show face and motivate more people to go out and vote? That is all worth it at the end of the day."
Check out Popdust's Joy to the Polls playlist here!