The capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are rapidly expanding each day. Ideas that were once thought to be impossible, are now being released for the public to use on a daily basis. AI is not only the key element behind futuristic ideas like self-driving cars and digital assistants, but also more everyday use cases such as navigation apps, and mobile check deposit.
To understand how AI is able to make these advancements, we need to understand how AI works. AI is all about teaching computers to think like humans so they can complete human-like tasks. It uses a process called machine learning to teach the computer to process information and make decisions the same way a human would.
As we’ve made advancements in AI technology, the tasks it can complete are getting not only more advanced but also more creative. AI can now complete the very "human" tasks of driving a car or making a painting. These exciting developments also come at a time where AI is increasing in accessibility. Now, the public can not only view these beautiful paintings, but also create their own AI-generated images. For so long, AI has been a useful tool rather than a medium for creative expression. Now, anyone with a computer and an internet connection has access to that creativity.
In many cases, when people on the internet are given a new kind of creative technology, they make memes with it. For example, any time apps like Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram add new features, they are used by the public to make and expand the world of memes. The world of AI is no different. When DALL-E mini, an open source AI image generator, was released in the summer of 2022, the internet was abuzz with AI generated images. So much so, that the images themselves became a meme. They seemed inescapable. We were excited not only by the new toy we could play with, but the endless possibilities made newly available to us. For many, it was an introduction to both AI Image generation and its potential for use to make memes.
Without AI, the process of meme making can be long and complicated. When making a meme from scratch, you have to first find the right image. This can take a while, even if you’re sure it's saved on your camera roll. Once the image is found, edits have to be made. Either in photoshop or on Instagram or using your favorite meme generator. Users then take the time to add text and stickers, making sure everything is correctly formatted and conveys the message they want to portray. Even though they may look simple as a finished product, memes take time. AI, however, could cut down on that time significantly.
With advancements in AI Image Generation technology, the door is open for easier, and faster meme creation tools. What AI is out there to help? And is it good for memes? Sure AI-generated images can be complex and human-like, but can they also be funny and hilarious memes? As AI technologies are released to the public, it should be clear what the best use for each one is. Some could be used to make memes while others are built with memes in mind. This guide is a breakdown of the best ways to use AI for memes.
The public's major introduction to memes made with AI was the DALL-E Mini, which is an AI image generator. These image generators leverage AI to create beautiful, and fantastical images that look like they were created by a human. AI image generators learn to make their art by being trained on millions of images and text descriptions. Each AI image generator is trained on unique datasets and developed by a unique team of engineers. Since their training processes are different, each AI image generator has its own specific style, based on the images that were used to train it. The three major players in the world of AI image generation are DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney, and each has their own specific style.
The most well known of these AI image generators is DALL-E 2, both because it is the most advanced form of AI on the market and the DALL-E Mini is named after it. DALL-E 2 is the second generation of DALL-E, both developed by OpenAI. DALL-E 2 makes the most human-like and photorealistic creations. DALL-E 2 images mimic many different kinds of human art. It can make images that look like photographs, paintings, and even blueprints. It favors realism in its outputs rather than expressionism.
Stable Diffusion has more of a cartoonish influence. The images from Stable Diffusion look vaguely "real life" without being too photorealistic. Stable Diffusion is better at mimicking the human face than other AI image generators. However, the depictions of the human face look more like drawings or cartoons rather than photos.
Midjounrey has a similarly unique style. Its outputs usually resemble paintings, even if the original input does not contain the word “painting”. The default style of these images is hardwired into the final product. Midjourney was not trained on photographs and is not designed to create “life-like” images. Rather, the appeal is to create beautiful images that look like paintings.
The current barrier with all AI image generators is that their technology is still developing so they are only available to the public in varying degrees. DALL-E 2 announced that they were opening up to the public on September 28th, 2022, after having a months-long waitlist that was only open to those working in tech. StableDiffusion is open to the public for a fee, with a demo running on Hugging Face, a platform that hosts open source AI for public consumption. Midjourney has a semi-open beta that requires a fee to join. While we may someday have full open access to these generators, right now, we’re limited in our ability to access and play around with these advanced technologies.
These AI image generators signal great achievement for humanity. They change the way we think and talk about art as a whole. They save time and money and give everybody a chance to express themselves creatively. However, this ability doesn’t really lend itself to making memes. They don’t have a bias to humor and are instead focused on replicating the prompt as accurately as possible, even if the prompt itself is funny. They’re built for art and most of the time, art is not memes.
That does not mean that the world of AI is not taking on memes already. AI is being used for memes, just mostly not on the image generation side. There are AI image generators that are built for memes but they are not the artistic ones listed above. Other AI Meme generators are designed to create the text of the meme, rather than the image. We combed the internet for the best ones and explained what each of them has to offer.
This AI meme generator is bare bones and meant for those who are more familiar with how AI technology actually works. It allows users to toggle the Model, Top-p, and Temperature. All of these essentially control the randomness of the text of the AI generated meme but for those who aren’t tech savvy, it all seems the same. Users are given the option of pre-selected images to choose from and the AI creates new text. Users can also upload their own images and the AI will spit out text based on the toggled elements. This generator is not aesthetically pleasing but it achieves the goal of generating text, through AI, for a meme.
Imgflip gives users the option to choose from 25 meme templates that the AI creates text for. The AI chooses the text at random but for a premium, users can add their own prompt text that influences the outcome of the meme. It can be fun to see what the AI spits out but the AI is mostly in total control of the meme. If users are looking for something more specific to their needs, they should look elsewhere.
Supermeme AI creates a large quantity of memes with only a little bit of input from the users. It only needs a couple words or phrases to spit out a variety of memes with a bunch of different templates. This AI can create somewhat humanlike sentences and pair them with somewhat appropriate images. It’s not perfect and it’s very clearly “written” by a computer but it still accomplishes the goal of creating an AI meme. Again, the fun is seeing what the AI does rather than having the ability to create perfect memes. The AI here is more helpful than in other AI meme generators but it’s not a totally perfect solution.
In the case of the DALL-E Mini, the generator itself is the meme. The fun was in playing around with the generator and seeing what it would create. The images themselves were fun but only because we knew they were created by the AI. The DALL-E mini is less helpful in making memes that aren’t in the DALL-E Mini style.
Kapwing Cartoonify takes existing images and makes doodles out of them. The AI draws the images in the style of a child. It is a unique visual style and there’s no other tool like it on the internet. It has yet to reach DALL-E mini status and it can't really make AI memes like the others can but it’s still a fun tool that makes interesting AI generated images. Those images could be used to make memes but that’s not their intended purpose right now.
Piñata Farms’ brand new AI meme generator is designed with customization in mind. The AI does the hard part of making the meme but users are able to prompt the AI and guide the final product. They can be prompted not only with words but also with head stickers, also called headpacks. Some of the headpacks are preloaded, while others can be sourced from Instagram or a user’s camera roll. Headpacks give users the ability to include their friends in AI generated images, as well as celebrities. Memes are not limited to what the AI already has a reference for anymore. Friends, celebrities, and even random strangers are all available to be added. The AI makes not only one meme but 9 versions of the prompt, giving users the option to choose which one suits them best. The Piñata Farms AI meme generator is fast, easy, and built with customization in mind. Unlike other AI meme generators, the Piñata Farms AI meme generator creates an entirely new image for you, like DALL-E, but for memes.
Memes can be created in a variety of ways and have a broad definition that opens the doors for creativity and adaptation for the future. AI is built to grow and adapt to new ideas. These two styles of creation are almost destined to work together. There’s a lot AI can do, as we have learned. The technology is advancing every day, and as it advances, it becomes more available to the public. While this combination should lend itself to the world of memes, very few have figured out the perfect way to combine image generation and memes. AI Image generators like DALL-E and Stable Diffusion are not built for memes. AI meme generators like Imgflip and Kapwing cartoonify are more focused on randomizing the text. Only the Piñata Farms AI Meme generator works to combine AI Image generation and memes. As the use of AI increases in our lives, we will do everything with it, including make memes. With The Piñata Farms AI meme generator, Memes and AI come together.