MiniGPT-4: A Fascinating AI Tool for Converting Images to Text

ChatGPT is an amazing language model, but its capabilities have been limited to working solely with text inputs and outputs. In contrast, OpenAI’s GPT-4 was expected to revolutionize this by incorporating image processing, enabling the generation of text based on images. However, OpenAI has yet to introduce this feature. Thankfully, we have MiniGPT-4, an open-source project that offers us a glimpse into what image processing in GPT-4 might entail, and it’s quite impressive.

Introducing MiniGPT-4

MiniGPT-4: A free image-to-text AI tool you can try out today
Image used with permission by copyright holder

MiniGPT-4 is an open-source initiative on GitHub that showcases the vision-language capabilities of an AI system. It can perform various tasks, such as generating descriptions of images, writing stories based on visual content, and even creating websites from simple sketches.

Despite its name, MiniGPT-4 is not an official product of OpenAI or directly associated with GPT-4. The project was developed by a group of Ph.D. students from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. It utilizes a different large language model (LLM) named Vicuna, which is built upon the open-source Large Language Model Meta AI (LLaMA). While not as powerful as ChatGPT, Vicuna achieves an impressive 90% similarity rating when evaluated by GPT-4 itself.

How to Utilize MiniGPT-4

As of now, MiniGPT-4 is only available as a demo of its initial version. You can access it for free through the group’s official website. To utilize the tool, simply drag and drop an image or click on “Drop Image Here.” Once uploaded, enter your prompt in the search box.

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There are several exciting use cases you can explore with MiniGPT-4. For instance, you can request image descriptions effortlessly. Additionally, if you’re in need of compelling copy for an Instagram post on behalf of your company or want to discover the ingredients and recipe for an interesting dish, MiniGPT-4 can handle these tasks surprisingly well.

However, it’s important to note that the coding capabilities of MiniGPT-4 are still a bit rough around the edges. While OpenAI demonstrated the conversion of a simple napkin drawing into a functional website using GPT-4, MiniGPT-4 is not yet able to perform this task as effectively. For more accurate coding results, it is recommended to run MiniGPT-4’s code through ChatGPT or GPT-4.

One aspect to consider is that MiniGPT-4 relies on your local system’s GPU for processing. Consequently, if you have a less powerful discrete GPU, you may experience slower performance. For instance, when I tested MiniGPT-4 on a M2 Max MacBook Pro, it took approximately 30 seconds to generate text based on an uploaded image.

Limitations of MiniGPT-4

One notable limitation of MiniGPT-4 is its speed. Without a sufficiently powerful graphics setup, the tool might feel unresponsive due to slow processing. Compared to the swift performance of cloud-based tools like ChatGPT or Bing Image Creator, MiniGPT-4 can feel laggy.

Moreover, MiniGPT-4 shares the same inherent limitations as other AI chatbots like ChatGPT or Google Bard. It can sometimes “hallucinate” or generate information that may not be entirely accurate.

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