Artificial intelligence opens up many possibilities in the world of imagery. One of the use cases is creating images for content such as blog posts, news stories, how-to guides, and other online content.
Thanks to tools such as DALL·E 2, Midjourney, and StableDiffusion anyone can generate unique AI-made images for their digital content. But there are advantages and disadvantages to having AI images in your content. Let’s look at some of them.
Advantages Of AI Images In Your Content
There are several benefits to using AI to generate images for online content and articles. Some of the key benefits include:
- Faster content production: AI tools can generate images quickly and at scale, which can save time and resources compared to manually taking photos yourself or searching through traditional stock image galleries. This allows you to get your content finished faster.
- Make your content stand out: Unique AI-generated images may give you a way to make your content stand out compared to rivals. And that’s where good prompt engineering and idea generation on your part will come in.
- Customization: AI can be quickly told to tweak images that have been generated so it is exactly how you want it to look in your content. This may be easier for some people compared to open image editing software and manually customizing an image.
- Unique concepts: If you want a very specific image of something unique, such as a fat hamster climbing Mt. Everest wearing sunglasses and swim shorts, then you’ll probably struggle to find that in a stock image library. But with AI anything is possible and it can bring your content to life in a unique way!
- Consistency: Getting consistency across articles when using large stock photo libraries can be tricky, but with some AI tools you may find it easier to maintain a consistent visual style across multiple images.
- Images nobody else has used: A big problem with free stock images is that they’re often downloaded and used by hundreds or thousands of people. If you use AI then you’ll end up with lots of unique images and get the benefits from it.
- Cost-effective: AI-generated images can be cheaper compared to buying stock images. And will always be cheaper than hiring a photographer if you want a very specific photo. The cheaper your content is to produce, the better!
Disadvantages Of AI Images In Your Content
- They can sometimes look weird: Depending on what type of image you want in your content, some can have strange artefacts and feel unnatural. This could alter the feeling you want your content to have.
- Quality: AI-generated images may not be as high quality as those created by professional graphic designers or photographers. Some free tools will only allow you to download the image in a low resolution.
- Watermarks: Some free AI image generators add a watermark, such as DALL·E 2 (limited free credits) and Artbreeder (unlimited use).
- Some types of images aren’t available: for example if you want an image of a famous celebrity in your content then using an AI to create someone who looks similar to them isn’t wise, you need a real photo of that celebrity.
- Long-term legal risks: Long-term we don’t know how AI laws will change. Eventually all AI-generated images may need to be marked as generated by artificial intelligence. If you don’t declare them as AI-generated and publish hundreds of articles with AI images in then you’ll have to go back later down the line and spend hours making your business meet it’s legal obligations.
- Risk of SEO punishment: This applies to website owners. Changes to search engine algorithms are common. If the big search engines one day decide to start using AI detection tools and prefer websites that use real photographs rather than AI generated images, then you’d see your rankings drop.
- Long-term lack of originality: Ironically, after a while AI-generated images may end up being less original than those created by humans, as they are based on existing patterns and templates. If lots of people use similar prompts using the same tools eventually there may be many very similar images.
- Efficiency isn’t guaranteed: Although it can be faster to use AI (as mentioned in the advantages listed above!), it isn’t guaranteed. Sometimes you need to type in a lot of prompts to get the final image you want. And even then you may still decide to open your preferred image editor and tweak the file. It may have turned out far quicker to use a good old stock image library after all! The net result would be your content has taken longer to produce.
- Lack of human touch: The human touch is a powerful thing, never underestimate it! Real photographs and professional graphics always have the human touch.
- Dependency on technology: Organizations may become dependent on AI-generated images and may not be able to produce images without the technology. If you rely too heavily on one image generation method and then it’s price increases dramatically, or it closes down altogether, it would create problems. If a deluge of legal action begins to build up it could curtail the industry.
- Bias: AI systems may be trained on biased data, which can lead to biased results in the generated images, such as images that are stereotypical or offensive. The risk may be low because the developers prioritise caution, but you still need to be vigilant.
- Copyright laws: technically there’s a risk you could infringe on someone else’s copyright ownership, or cause issues with intellectual property rights. The chance of an AI creating an image incredibly similar to an existing photograph or graphic that someone else’s holds the rights to is unlikely, but possible. And if you have an imagine incredibly similar to one created and protected by somebody else then they could still attempt legal action against you, albeit it’s unlikely.
- Moral dilemmas: everyone has their own opinion on artificial intelligence. Depending on your employees and customers, some people may not be happy with lots of your content containing images made by an AI.
As you can see from the above points, there are pros and cons to using images generated by AI in your content. And they’re just some of the reasons, there will be more too depending on your industry and business.
If you’re currently weighing up whether to start using AI images in the content you create and publish, then consider the advantages and disadvantages for your business and make a calculated decision.
If you decide to start using AI generated images without the time of coming up with prompts, check out our free stock images made using AI.