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Can Google Gemini generate images?

Google has acknowledged the importance of AI image rendering.
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Published onOctober 31, 2023

Google IO 2023 bard adobe firefly
Google

While Google has touted its AI tech for years, particularly on its Pixel phones, the rise of generative AI systems like ChatGPT seems to have caught it by surprise, forcing it to play catch-up. The spearhead of that effort is Google Gemini, which connects to a number of other Google apps and services. How powerful is it, though? Does Gemini have any support for image generation?

QUICK ANSWER

Yes, Google Gemini does support image generation, which works much like technology used in Google Bard.


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Can Google Gemini generate images?

Google Gemini Rollercoaster dialogue Demo 1
Google demo video

Yes, and so far the technology works just like it did in Google Bard, including text- and voice-based prompts.

That’s not Gemini’s focus, though. It’s primarily a ChatGPT-style chatbot, meaning you can ask it knowledge questions, and have it summarize emails, articles, and documents, among other tasks. On Android devices you can have Gemini replace Google Assistant, enabling some additional functionality like phone calls, timers, and contextual awareness of whatever’s onscreen.

Its chief advantage is its links with the Google ecosystem, as we mentioned. If you ask it to plan a group trip to Austin, for instance, it can fetch open dates from Gmail, pull flight information from Google Flights, and get airport directions from Google Maps. You might even get relevant YouTube videos.

The best version of the technology is reserved for subscribers to Google One AI Premium, which costs $19.99 per month. They get Gemini Advanced, which is better at complex tasks, mostly because it accepts longer prompts and is better at understanding nuance. That may make it preferable for image generation, by extension.

What are some of the best AI image generators?

Midjourney

Midjourney on smartphone stock photo (2)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Midjourney has become a go-to choice for many, since its V5.2 iteration has overtaken most of the competition. In some cases the results it produces can look photorealistic, albeit with some minor mistakes that give away their AI origin. You can go in the opposite direction if you like, even creating anime-style content.

You can’t access Midjourney through a dedicated app or website. Instead you need to use Discord, a real-time chat service most commonly associated with gaming. Discord does run on every platform you might care about however, including the web, and the chat commands you need to know aren’t that complex.

The real drawback to Midjourney is its cost. It costs at least $10 per month or $96 per year, and you’re encouraged to spend more to get a higher share of fast rendering.

DALL-E

Next to Midjourney, DALL-E is perhaps the best-recognized name in AI image generation, since it broke into the mainstream way back in 2021. It doesn’t hurt that the company behind it is OpenAI, best known for ChatGPT.

In many respects it’s similar to Midjourney, but the real advantage is pricing. If you access it through Microsoft’s Bing Image Creator, it’s completely free, although you’re assigned a fixed number of credits to use that only replenish weekly. If you want to escape the confines of Bing you can buy credits directly from OpenAI.

Stable Diffusion

stable diffusion online pikachu dining paris
Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

Stable Diffusion is completely free and open-source. If you own a powerful computer with a dedicated graphics card, you can even download and run the AI model yourself. That translates to a GPU with 8GB of VRAM, so you’ll probably want an NVIDIA RTX 3060 or better.

You can try Stable Diffusion online at stablediffusionweb.com. Just be aware that while you don’t need an account for this, anything generated will be visible to others, and you won’t be able to browse your own history. Thankfully that also means that people can’t tie an image to you personally, and you’ll still be able to browse other recent prompts.