AI images are about to be a real handful, now more than ever.

Big Upgrade

Midjourney recently announced its latest iteration, V5, and it's set a new bar in achieving uncanny, Instagram-filtered photorealism.

"MJ v5 currently feels to me like finally getting glasses after ignoring bad eyesight for a little bit too long," Julie Wireland, a graphic designer who frequently shares Midjourney generated images, told Ars Technica.

Yes, everything still has that fake Fujifilm, drowning-in-warm-hazy-light look, but it's impossible to deny the substantial strides made here.

Midjourney now supports double the resolution of the previous version and in wider aspect ratios, outputs sharper images, and can evoke more styles. Above all, its outputs just look way more coherent.

But the most impressive — and arguably worrying — takeaway to some is the fact that Midjourney can now output a certain human body part without it always looking like a Cronenbergian nightmare: hands.

Handy Dandy

As impressive (and terrifying) as AI image generators can be, pretty much all of them, including Midjourney as well as Stable Diffusion, have consistently outputed absolutely wretched attempts at human hands, which tend to look more like an accursed amalgamation of as many gangly fingers as possible than an actual appendage.

So up until now, if you were ever uncertain about whether an image of a person was real or synthesized by an AI, popular wisdom dictated that you looked for the hands to betray its artificial origins. But that may no longer be a reliable indicator, as some viral tweets have warned in the wake of V5's release.

"Be extra critical of any political imagery (especially photography) you see online that is trying to incite a reaction," tweeted Del Walker, a character artist.

Wieland, a prolific user of Midjourney, confirmed that "hands are correct most of the time."

Work in Progress

Even with the major upgrade, though, it's clearly not infallible — yet. Others experimenting with Midjourney's latest update found that it still occasionally produces hands with six or more fingers, even in an uncomplicated image.

Others noted that Midjourney is yet to reliably clear another handy hurdle: interlocked hands, which still appear as prime body horror material.

While falling short of perfect, though, the pace of improvement suggests that image generators are rapidly ironing out the kinks between today's outputs and something approaching photorealism.

More on AI generated images: Lazy Artists Use AI to Rip Off Famous Dutch Painting for Museum Exhibition

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