How generating images to discard them impacts energy use, emissions, and sustainability.


Copyright: – “Understanding Generative AI’s Impact On Sustainability”



As if getting our “triple-foam double-shot oat milk latte with caramel drizzle on top” wasn’t the biggest problem on our mind, we have a new first-world problem: AI-assisted image & video generation.

Let me explain…

Improvements And Limitations Of Prompts And Models

The images or videos you create using leading Generative AI tools rarely match your expectations on the first attempt. At least not in my case. Tools like Midjourney and DALL-E 3 (image generation) or Runway and Pika Labs (video generation) are powerful, but they’re not mind readers. And most of us are not robot whisperers either.

Sure, one approach for generating better output is improving your prompting skills. There are several style guides and examples publicly available. They’re a great start to give you some help and some inspiration. The one that I occasionally use for Midjourney is It provides a great library of styles.

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On the other hand, vendors need to further mature the models underlying these products — and they will. Generating a 3- or 4-second-long video based on a text prompt is already an impressive technological achievement. But there’s more room for growth: 60-second long scenes, consistency between scenes, and entire AI-generated movies. You get the idea.

Recent updates to image generation tools like Midjourney (v5, v5.2, and v6) have advanced the tool significantly within the span of a few short months. For example, getting the model to generate more text more accurately has been a huge step forward. But it’s not 100% reliable, yet. That’s why for every usable image you generate, you have a handful of images that you discard. And that’s the problem.[…]

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