Briefing Paper on A.I. Image Generation

Briefing Paper on A.I. Image Generation

Exec Summary:

Machine Learning / A.I. software now exists that allows businesses and organisations to create photorealistic images, drawings and illustrations in-house for free or at a very low cost.

Business Advantage:

Costs of using stock photos, sourcing basic illustrations and designs can be reduced to zero. Smaller businesses will be more competitive.

Business Threat:

Stock photo production companies may see sales impacted in the medium to long term but they will also see a massive decrease in production costs allowing them to infinitely expand their collections

Business Opportunities:

A new creative economy can be created where people with just an idea can will the imagery to life. Create that poster, that comic, the new brochure by typing a few words. The same way the likes of Photoshop and an internet connection unlocked so much creativity, now people can make art like professionals without having creativity suites.


In the past few months we’ve seen A.I./ Machine Learning advances so that you can type a few words into a website or desktop app and images will get created for you. Or someone takes an existing image and has it modified or “outcrops” it so the A.I. creates a new world around the image.

How this A.I. software works:

This software uses images and text descriptions downloaded from the Web. Billions of them. This is then put through machine learning/A.I. software that links words to the content of images so that it eventually understands plain english commands e.g. draw me a tree or create a photo of a tree.

Malcolm Gladwell talked about putting 10,000 proper hours into something to get good. A.I. is putting those hours in so you don’t have to. The author of the paper Gladwell cited says he oversimplified and there was also another crucial aspect – having a very good teacher. Who are the good teachers in A.I?

4 main A.I. image systems

Currently there are 4 main image systems but there will be dozens soon.

  • Dall-E from Open A.I. which was the first, is web based and invite only. First few images are free. Then you pay for credits.
  • Crayon – a clone of Dall-E – Free website.
  • Midjourney is in Beta, can be accessed via a Discord web server. First few images are free. Then you subscribe.
  • Stable Diffusion – Open Source, desktop version. Free.

Dangers and Deep Fakes:

Dall-E has checks to prevent the creation of deep fakes and creating violent imagery but many of the others do not. It can be very easy to fake a person, a celebrity or a politician and have them endorse a product or movement or show them in a compromising scenario.

Ethical Issues

As this “tech” is based on billions of images that have been scraped from the web, these images are biased toward the white male gaze of course and with pornography also downloaded, what this software considers to be a woman can be corrupted. The likes of Dall E does error corrections by adding in women so searches to decrease all male images as well as trying to remove violent and racist imagery. Copyrighted images are also in this giant set of images. Read and follow the work of Abeba Birhane.

What comes next:

Video creation and editing e.g. a text command can change the colour of the sky or reorder a city. This is already happening.
In the medium term people will be able to conjure up their own worlds by just telling their VR device. Think will be a jump from Fortnite to a world like in Avatar or any elaborate computer game.

August 2022 Briefing note: What’s happening with Instagram

Briefing note: What’s happening with Instagram

Exec Summary:

Facebook/Meta sees Tiktok as an existential threat and are doing their best to make Instagram work exactly like TikTok. They will happily force this on their users and turn their back on their photo app roots. Facebook and Instagram have lost the younger demographic to TikTok and these changes will not have an impact.

Facebook is now the clown car

Mark Zuckerberg once called Twitter a clown car that fell down a goldmine. Facebook/Meta have taken their eye off the ball for their Facebook and Instagram offerings while trying to pivot their company to become the main provider of VR/AR virtual worlds (metaverse), wasting billions so far on this quest. In the meantime Tiktok’s numbers are growing and they are the main social app for those under 25 with Instagram Reels failing to gain popularity with younger people. (see Irish data further down)

Facebook/Meta’s Identity Crisis

Tiktok has pointed out that they are an entertainment platform not a social network. Facebook is a social network, there was even a movie about them called The Social Network. Their Mission Statement is: Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

For decades they’ve talked about their mission of connecting people but now they want to be Tiktok and that means a full DNA transplant. While at the same time wanting to be TikTok they want to be a metaverse first company too. Instagram has always been the vehicle to counter outside threats to the Meta/Facebook business but this time it might damage it.

Instagram timeline:

    • 2010 Instagram launches.
    • April 2012 Bought by Facebook.
    • August 2016 Instagram rips off Snapchat Stories with Instagram Stories.
    • June 2018 IGTV launched as YouTube competitor
    • August 2020 Instagram rips off Tiktok with Instagram Reels.
    • Mid 2021 Instagram starts adding posts from accounts you don’t follow into timelines.
    • October 2021 IGTV stepped down as a long-form video offering.
    • Early 2022 Instagram Reels videos from non-followed accounts forced into timelines.
    • July IGTV videos and existing videos converted to Instagram Reels
    • July 26th 2022 Instagram changes algorithm to push even more Reels videos into timeline and announces this will be the default.
    • July 29th 2022 Instagram announces they’ve paused this feature for now.

Data Manipulation as justification for changes

In their July 26th announcement Instagram used data to argue people wanted more video (Reels) in their timelines as this was the content they were watching more. However, Instagram changed their algorithm to give videos more priority so the data was of course going to show this. Facebook/Meta’s data can never be trusted, they have a lot of history with their “data”.

What comes next for Instagram and Facebook/Meta?

Facebook/Meta’s recent earnings and commentary show a company that’s in panic mode. Their big bet on a Metaverse with them having a monopoly on it seems to be a very expensive future for them and the coveted youth market they once had is lost to them. They’ve tried to clone TikTok and this is not working and they’ve tried to stoke fears and get it curtailed and this has failed too.

The latest announcement and climb back has been a giant misstep. When Instagram cloned Snapchat Stories, Snapchat redesigned their app and made their most popular features hard to use, pushing more people to Instagram Stories and hampered their own growth and dominance. It now seems Instagram is doing something similar by turning a beloved app into something else.

Opportunity for others

While Facebook/Meta said they’ll hold off on the timeline changes for now, they will bring them back and force them through. Tiktok is all they can think of now. Instagram was better at photos than Facebook and Facebook bought them and they used their resources to get them over a billion users. With Facebook/Meta now turning their back on the photo sharing element of Instagram, there are opportunities for other apps to pull in these audiences that Instagram seems not to want anymore.

TikTok, Instagram and Instagram Reels numbers

Monthly usage of apps/social apps in Ireland. These numbers are generated from the as systems of these platforms.

Tiktok in Ireland
2.26M users
13-18 not measured (the ad tool doesn’t allow you advertise to those under 19)
18-24 1.058M
24-34 562k
35-44 318k
45-54 184k
55+ 107k

Instagram in Ireland
2.6M overall
13-18 192k
18-24 653k
24-34 814k
35-44 560k
45-54 322k
55+ 231k

Reels overall 1.2M
13-18 70k
18-24 268k
24-34 394k
35-44 246k

Instagram Reels growth
August 2021 – 540,000
January 2022 – 930,000
August 2022 – 1.2M
(algorithm changes contributed to this growth too)

Instagram Stories 2.1M

This briefing document is from Mulley Communications – – 086 8258586

Metaverse Briefing Document July 2022

The Metaverse Executive Summary

The Metaverse does not exist. Pure hype. 5-10 years away. Observe and wait for mass market adoption. Consider VR/AR for high value clients such as building walkthroughs, training or 3D models of your products.

This post is heavily inspired by (read ripped off) James Whatley and watch this metaverse talk he gave.

PDF version.

What is the Metaverse?

Broad Definition: The Metaverse is an always-on set of immersive 3D virtual worlds that are all connected to each other creating a single 3D virtual universe of destinations.
(Most companies are making up their own definitions of what the Metaverse is to suit their own interests, most of these are existing online games or VR platforms.)

Is the Metaverse owned by Facebook?

No. Facebook/Meta announced they’re building the metaverse but what they are building is an immersive 3D world at some point in the future which will not have interoperability with other online VR spaces. They are calling this the Metaverse, so are 100s of others.

The Trouble with the Metaverse – Consoles wars x10

Everyone appears to be building The Metaverse. The trouble is that all these “metaverses” are like game console war except there are now 250+ game console companies and none are compatible. Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, AMD, Roblox, Samsung and Sony to name but a few are talking about making a Metaverse. To use their proprietary version you will need a specific piece of hardware to access each one of these.

Unlike the Internet and the World Wide Web where you build a website and every device with an Internet connection can access it, for the Metaverse hype you will need to build an individual presence using different standards in each “Metaverse” and each metaverse will have their own technology (e.g. headsets and glasses) that you’ll need to use.

Technology for “the Metaverse” is many years away from becoming a reality. Both the hardware and the software are not good enough to be used for now.

What about Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft?
These are online games, not the Metaverse.

You cannot trust Meta/Facebook

Facebook/Meta has a history of luring in companies to go all-in on their offerings before then chopping off their legs. They did this before by promising Facebook Apps would make companies rich and then killed off Facebook Apps, they then lured companies especially media companies to go all-in on video creation on Facebook and then changed their algorithm to downplay video, destroying many media companies. They did the same with news organisations encouraging them to make Facebook specific content and have now shuttered their Facebook News programme. Most recently they have decided to turn Instagram into a TikTok clone by pushing Instagram Reels of strangers into your main timeline and de-prioritise photos and posts, turning their back on people that helped build the app. Do not trust them.

Observe and Wait

For now companies large and small should consider waiting to see what happens with the various Metaverse projects out there. When Apple launches their VR headset and eventually VR/AR glasses, this will bring stability and also mass market numbers to VR/AR and this will create a clearer picture of where things are headed.

Where the Metaverse money is: VR and AR as a gateway to the Metaverse

The VR and AR space is growing
Companies should consider using VR for high value clients such as building walkthroughs, high end simulation programmes or 3D models of your products. If just a few hundred people seeing your work in VR is enough for a high value sale, then VR can be worth it.

IP and innovation
Those working on VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) will be the ones who will do well when The Metaverse becomes more standardised. They’ll do this by licensing the IP they create or by being acquired or by creating content for clients. Many already successful Irish VR/AR companies will be ready for the Metaverse and will do well from it.

Cynically using the Metaverse hype
If you cynically look at the Metaverse then there are a few ways to have success:

Using the Metaverse for PR
A business could announce they’re setting up in the Metaverse and they could get media coverage for this. Many are already doing this.

Launching a client in the Metaverse
Many companies have plenty of resources to spend money building a space in a virtual world. These companies will spend 10s of 1000s to 100s of 1000s to millions to have their space in “the Metaverse” and there is no way to convince them otherwise. Take their money. Build VR/AR apps for them.

Questions to ask when there’s a Metaverse announcement

How do I access the Metaverse now?
What hardware do I need?
Is your Metaverse offering just a space in an online game like Minecraft/Roblox?
How many daily users are in your Metaverse?