Google's Imagen AI system converts natural text to images, much like DALL-E 2. However, unlike OpenAI's DALL-E, Google has thus far kept its text-to-image AI model out of the public's hands. That's changing, at least slightly. Google has announced it will add a very limited form of Imagen to its AI Test Kitchen app.

AI Test Kitchen was released earlier this year to allow Google to beta test some of its AI technologies. Google will be adding Imagen to the app with some constraints. Users can interact with Imagen in two ways, called 'City Dreamer' and 'Wobble.'

Within City Dreamer, you can use Imagen to create an AI-generated city with whatever theme the user wants. For example, if you want a 'Cyber City,' Imagen's City Dreamer will create sample buildings centered around the 'cyber' theme. The designs appear as isometric models, which as The Verge points out, looks 'similar to what you'd see in SimCity.'

Credit: Google

While City Dreamer's name befits its purpose, 'Wobble' is more confusing. Within Wobble, you create a monster. Users select the material the monster is made of, such as clay, felt, or rubber, and then outfit it with clothing of their choice. Imagen then creates the monster you described, and you can name it and interact with it. The model is constrained enough that you can't make any monster you want, but instead, every monster in Wobble will share some design language. There's not nearly as much freedom as there is in DALL-E's public beta nor as much freedom as Imagen can deliver.

Google won't go so far as to say that the limitations are features in and of themselves, but they are important as the tech giant continues to fine-tune Imagen. AI Test Kitchen is designed to get feedback and help find issues with Google's AI technologies. Part of finding problems is exercising control over how the user interacts with the system.

Credit: Google

As AI technology becomes more sophisticated and prevalent, associated risks exist. When given total freedom and control, a small subset of users may rush to find ways to abuse it. When you're a company like Google, users misusing your products can have significant consequences and can cause real damage, either to other users or, in extreme cases, to Google itself.

There's little doubt that Imagen is a state-of-the-art AI model. However, with great power comes great responsibility. It's unclear what form Imagen will take when, or if, it ever becomes a commercial product with full public availability. However, for now, users can test it out with City Dreamer and Wobble. AI Test Kitchen is available as a free download on Android and iOS. You must sign up for a waitlist to use the app. I signed up and look forward to creating a monster of my own soon.