The First Printed Magazine Completely Created by AI Made Subscribers Angry

It seems that Midjourney was in a rush to launch the first magazine that was completely created by artificial intelligence that they forgot to think about what would come afterward. Dozens of subscribers are confused because they didn’t get a receipt, nor know when it will be delivered or how to unsubscribe.

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midjourney magazine

Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

Midjourney Magazine launch gone wrong  

On March 15, the popular AI program for creating images Midjourney announced they are releasing a monthly magazine completely created by AI. Users worldwide were thrilled about this, partly because they were intrigued by what it will look like, but mostly because the magazine would come out in print, which makes it valuable for collectors. 

Following the announcement, they released a devoted landing page, hinting the appearance of the first issue. Namely, the magazine will come in a limited supply, on a first come first serve basis, with the first issue being free of charge (which turned out to be false, but more about that later). 

The key content of the magazine will be visual artwork, curated from more than 10,000 highly rated images on Midjourney. 

ai images

Source: Freepik

Apart from images created by AI, which was obvious to take up most of the space, the magazine will also include articles and interviews generated by AI. They didn’t reveal any information about the textual content so far, but we sure have many questions. 

For example, which model will it use? 

Will it be pure fiction, or will it include some real-life events and people? 

And will it be fact-checked or reviewed by a human? 

Guess we’ll have to wait to find out, but that’s not the only problem without an answer. 

There are much more serious issues regarding the launch of the magazine that Midjourney has completely overseen. 

Why Are Subscribers Angry at Midjourney? 

The magazine isn’t even out yet, but it has already caused an eruption of concerns. We’ll list some of the most important ones below. 

As we mentioned earlier, the official landing page stated that the first issue would be free-of-charge of-charge. But, when your click on the “Get the magazine” button, it redirects you to Stripe checkout where you’re asked to subscribe and pay $4 immediately, leaving your shipping information – without telling you when to expect your copy. 

It does offer you an option to add a promotion code so if you came across one somewhere over the internet, you may type it in and get the issue for free as you were promised in the beginning. 

artificial intelligence art

Source: Freepik

Now comes the fun part. 

Namely, by confirming your subscription, you allow Midjourney Inc to charge your card for this payment and future payments in accordance with their terms. You can always cancel your subscription. But that’s not entirely true. 

When you purchase the magazine – nothing happens. 

You don’t get a confirmation email, a receipt, or any other information really, so you’re not even sure if the purchase happened. 

Not only that, but the fact that you gave away your credit card info and a shipping address is what makes you really nervous. 

And if you wish to contact their customer support or find out how to unsubscribe, you will just be redirected to their Discord channel. There, you will get an answer if some member of their community is in the mood to help you. 

According to Midjourney social accounts, this has happened to many users, and they’re not at all happy about it. In fact, they claim to feel as if they were scammed. 

Midjourney’s sketchy history
Since its launch in July 2022, this program has grasped attention worldwide. So much so that the British Magazine The Economist used it for its front page. However, many controversies have been tied to it since. Starting from Midjourney’s founder David Holz admitted to having used millions of images for training without the artists’ consent, claiming there’s no way to trace the photo back to its owner and admitting to copyright infringement. Another event that made artists furious was when AI-generated art won a prize in the digital category at the Colorado State Fair. The fact that Midjourney is now launching a magazine including AI-generated artwork and making a profit from it is just another cherry on top.

So, what’s the real truth? 

They didn’t really think it through. 

From what we found on Reddit, they are working on a “Manage Page”, where users will be able to manage their subscription plans. Why they didn’t enable this option from the start remains unclear. As one user pointed out, in most countries is actually illegal not to include the ‘unsubscribe’ option. 

byu/MeggirbotOnMJ from discussion

Moreover, they didn’t include any info about shipping worldwide. This could be an additional problem because many users from outside of the USA ordered the copy (and paid for it), not knowing if there will be any additional fees or if it will be shipped at all. 

The company didn’t make any official announcements so far regarding this topic, nor did it reply to comments online, leaving its users furious and concerned. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.