Ex-Google team turns AI research into serious Midjourney contender with Ideogram AI


A team of ex-Googlers is positioning itself as a competitor to Midjourney with a new text-to-image system.

Ideogram AI is doing what Google isn’t: turning the search giant’s high-quality generative AI research into a product. Ideogram AI has raised $16.5 million in seed funding, including from a16z and Indexventures.

Ideogram’s team includes alumni of Google Brain, UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Toronto. They have worked on projects such as Google’s image AI Imagen and Imagen Video, as well as many other AI technologies.

Ideogram v0.1 enters beta phase

With “Ideogram v0.1”, Ideogram AI now presents the first beta version of a text-to-image software that runs directly in the browser, in contrast to Midjourney, which uses the chat software Discord as an interface.



The Ideogram community has already generated plenty of images that can be viewed on the platform, including prompts. Like Midjourney, IdeogramAI supports many styles, from photorealistic to fantastically abstract.

Politische Motive (siehe Putin unten links) sind offenbar (noch) möglich.
Political motifs (see Putin below left) are apparently (still) possible. | Image: Screenshot Ideogram.ai

At first glance, the platform seems to be at least on par with Midjourney in terms of variety, accuracy, and level of detail. Its strength also lies in font generation, a capability that Google has demonstrated in its text-to-image prototypes and that existing text-to-image systems largely lack.

Elon Musk has a problem with a blue bird. Or the bird with Elon Musk?| Image: Ideogram, screenshot “Firerock31”.

It’s also interesting that Ideogram AI treats the web platform directly as a social network with profiles and handles. So it’s possible to take another person’s generation, image and prompt, and create a new image from it. This could further simplify image creation.

In the Ideogram community, you can pick up images and prompts from other users and remix them. | Image: Screenshot Ideogram.ai

Details on the technology used and the pricing model are not yet known. Interested users can sign up for a waiting list, but will need a Google login. You can also find more images on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #ideogram.

Google and commercial generative AI systems – it’s complicated

In May 2022, Google presented Imagen, a capable text-to-image system that significantly outperformed OpenAI’s DALL-E 2. It was followed by Parti, Re-Imagen, and Muse, which could generate even more detailed, better, and faster images that very closely matched prompts.


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