If you’ve ventured onto social media this past week, you’ve likely stumbled across some inexplicably strange images featuring pop culture icons in unexpected forms.
Mike Wazowski as a toilet? Yoda shredding an electric guitar? Breaking Bad's Walter White in Stardew Valley? All the work of the internet’s newest obsession, Dall-E Mini: a text-to-image AI app that encourages ordinary folk to put their imagination to the test by creating truly outlandish digital art.
Similar to Google’s Imagen software but with significantly more Twitter traction, Dall-E Mini – whose name is a pleasing mash-up of Disney’s WALL-E and artist Salvador Dalí – encourages users to input just a few words or phrases before spitting out nine distinct images to be saved and shared at will.
But for all its meme-making potential, the software is also producing some genuinely beautiful artwork – and below, we’ve rounded up seven user-created masterpieces that we think could sit comfortably (sort of...) alongside the Mona Lisa in the Louvre.
‘Alien cat from another planet’
Cat memes are often the order of the day on the internet, and that hasn’t changed with the advent of Dall-E Mini – but this particular feline creation, from the mind of TechRadar’s very own Tom Bedford, makes good on the animal obsession. We’re calling this one Close Encounters of the Purr Kind.
‘Silent Hill nurse eating a pizza’
Admittedly, this one is a little creepy, but Twitter user @vf_vikintor’s genius ‘Silent Hill nurse eating a pizza’ also possesses a haunting, cheese-adorned beauty. Imagine the relief of biting into this 16-inch Margherita after surviving one of the game series’ horror-infested hellscapes? Series creator Keiichiro Toyama would be proud.
‘Cthulhu getting married’
Another glorious Twitter find courtesy of @lightediand, ‘Cthulhu getting married’ proves that even the most monstrous creatures of the deep deserve to find love. The eyes, the tentacles, the photo shoot setup – it’s all so magical. All we can say is: the young lady in this picture is a lucky woman.
‘A waterfall in space’
Another space-themed special from TechRadar’s Tom Bedford, ‘A waterfall in space’ documents the sort of phenomenon we’d expect to find floating above a distant planet in the far-reaches of the universe. Is that a burning sun above the falls in question, or a multiversal version of The Lord of the Rings' Eye of Sauron? It’s up to you, the humble viewer, to decide.
‘Pablo Picasso Mona Lisa’
@CaseyJPod’s Pablo Picasso Mona Lisa is exactly what we hoped it would be. We’re not sure what more we can say.
‘Ivy next to tree trunk’
‘Ivy next to tree trunk’, from Twitter user @aymordi, is a refreshingly tranquil picture among the relentless color and energy of most Dall-E Mini creations we’ve seen. It also looks remarkably realistic, proving that this AI software is, in fact, pretty damn accurate.
'Shadow on the horizon'
TechRadar's Senior Audio Staff Writer, Becky Scarrott, is the creative mind responsible for 'Shadow on the horizon'. Despite its title, this is perhaps the most ambiguous of all the images included on this list. Who or what is that god-like figure pictured far out to sea, and what do they want? The two unfortunate souls in the foreground look like they're about to find out. RIP.
Have you created any artistic masterpieces using Dall-E Mini that could feature alongside our choices? Share them to our Twitter handle, @techradar, and we'll endeavour to reply with our impressions (and perhaps a few of our own user-generated monstrosities...).
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.