June 29, 2022

What you need to know

  • Google Imagen is a new AI-driven image generator that can create entire images from words.
  • Google showcased the technology with a release of a research paper that explains how it works, including several examples of its output.
  • There is no publicly available demo at this time and Google isn’t releasing the source code just yet, citing concerns about societal impact.

AI image generation is nothing new, but Google’s latest research paper displays an advancement of a kind we haven’t seen since the first AI-driven image generators came about. In a nutshell, Imagen takes text and turns it into a realistic-looking image, driven completely by an AI that understands a large dictionary of words and what those words mean in a visual sense.

Google released its Imagen (opens in new tab) research paper alongside the explanation of the tool. Google says its own in-house developed benchmark, DrawBench, rates other image generation models based on human raters and show that the Google AI (opens in new tab)-powered Imagen produces superior results to those other models. The Imagen site showcases a number of different examples, a few of which we cherry-picked below.

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Google)

“A robot couple fine dining with Eiffel Tower in the background.”

Image 2 of 4

Google Imagen computer generated images

(Image credit: Google)

“A transparent sculpture of a duck made out of glass. The sculpture is in front of a painting of a landscape.”

Image 4 of 4

Google Imagen computer generated images

(Image credit: Google)

“A chrome-plated duck with a golden beak arguing with an angry turtle in a forest.”