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Generative AI wallpapers: Availability and details
If one thing has become clear in 2023, it’s that generative AI is going to change our lives forever. The wallpaper on your Pixel device is a rather minor example of that in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something for tech enthusiasts to get excited about anyway. Until now, your options were to take a great picture somewhere, download some wallpaper, or get very good at art. Google just introduced another option: Generative AI wallpapers.
We’ll explain exactly what it is and when you’ll be able to try it for yourself.
What are generative AI wallpapers?
The term ‘generative AI’ refers to the sort of creations by AI that we’ve all been impressed by recently. That could be answers given by ChatGPT or images created by Midjouney — if AI generated it from a prompt, it falls into this category. So generative AI wallpapers are backgrounds for your device created by AI on your prompt.
Among a slew of other exciting new AI innovations, Google introduced the concept of generative AI wallpaper at Google I/O in May 2023. It debuted alongside emoji wallpapers, which allow you to create a background out of your favorite emojis, and cinematic wallpapers, which turn an existing photo into a dynamic 3D image.
You can see all three wallpaper innovations demonstrated in the YouTube clip above. When it comes to the generative AI wallpaper, you simply choose an artistic style for the theme and a prompt. Your Google Pixel device will then use the company’s text-to-image diffusion models to create several unique images that match your selection. You can choose one of them as your wallpaper. A nice extra element from Google is that the Material You feature will then match the color palette of your Android system to the wallpaper you created.
What wasn’t entirely clear from the brief demonstration is whether you can input the theme and prompt manually or if you can only generate images based on the prompts on offer. It appears that we may initially have to work with the options that Google provides. But given the pace of the AI revolution, it can only be a matter of time before you’re able to type anything to generate your bespoke wallpaper — and not very much time, at that.
When will generative AI wallpapers become available?
Unlike emoji and cinematic wallpapers, which have already been launched on the latest Google Pixel devices, generative AI wallpapers are not yet available to try for yourself. Google hasn’t yet given a specific date for the release, citing only fall 2023.
Android 14 is already in its Beta 3 stage and is due for full release later in the year. It might be that Google will launch generative AI wallpapers alongside the full OS upgrade, but this is just speculation. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we get to try this innovation for ourselves.
Are generative AI wallpapers coming to non-Pixel devices?
It’s both clear and understandable that Google wants to launch generative AI wallpapers to owners of its own devices at first. But it seems the idea is that this is going to be an Android feature rather than a Pixel-specific one. On that basis, it would appear very likely that generative AI wallpapers are coming to other Android devices. When that happens remains to be seen.
It will only be the more recent Google Pixel devices initially, but it’s likely that any phone or tablet running the latest version of Android will eventually be able to support the feature.
The short answer is that AI images are usually legal to use, although it’s a complicated and emerging issue. Even if the image is unique, there are lots of factors that come into play, such as how the image is generated, the way it is used, and the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is used. In terms of generative AI wallpaper, you would hope that Google has looked into this. The risk of creating images that could be problematic from a legal standpoint may explain why generative AI wallpaper will only be available from some pre-set prompts.