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Meet Stable Horde, the [email protected] of AI art

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Does your PC really need to look for aliens? How about putting your resources to work to help make the art of AI instead? A new community effort, Stable Horde, lets you donate your PC’s extra GPU cycles to create AI art and instead use your donated time to create AI art in just a fraction of the time.

Stable Horde is a grassroots effort where you can donate your PC’s idle time to help others create awesome AI art – or you can use the PC “horde” to create your own AI art as well. Stable Horde is similar to both [email protected] (which went into “hibernation” in 2020) or [email protected]. Both of the latter services use the processor power of your PC to solve distributed problems, such as protein analysis. Stable Horde uses your GPU, but for art.

Stable Horde is essentially a distributed version of Stable diffusion, which uses your PC’s GPU to create AI-generated artwork. If you want to join the Horde, you have two choices. As a consumer of AI art, you can use distributed GPUs to create your own. You can also join your PC to the Horde itself. If you do this, even if your GPU isn’t particularly powerful, you’ll be able to use the accumulated “compliments” to prioritize your requests. Joining Stable Horde is essentially a nerdy project you can do to help out the community.

Using Stable Horde as a client to create AI art

Stable horde it has a few front-end interfaces to use to create AI art, but my favorite pick is ArtBot, which draws on the Horde. (There is also a separate client interfacewith a web version or downloadable software.)

origin 1ArtBot’s interface for Stable Horde gives you a constantly updated view of the progress of your images.

Mark Hachman/IDG

The one more thing you really should do is Sign in for Stable Horde, which provides an API key. Registration provides a username, but the API key is what will identify you to the Horde. You will need to enter the API key into the client. You can use the service anonymously but you will be placed at the bottom of the queue. It is not recommended, as new requests will push you even further.

Using the Stable Horde client interface is very similar to using any artistic AI generator, although the Horde has many AI models to choose from, each with their own particular art style. There’s inpainting, image-to-image generation, and upscaling (although the latter feature has been discontinued as of press time).

You can request the basic models of Stable Diffusions, but also specialized models such as a Midjourney-trained version of Stable Diffusion. (While Midjourney does a fantastic job of creating AI artit also costs at least $10 a month – this template builds a “free” version instead.) And since the Artbot/Stable Horde service is essentially free, you can play around with what works and what doesn’t.

There is one small problem: the compliment system. To prevent abuse of the system, the developer has implemented a system where each request “costs” a certain amount of compliments. Compliments mean nothing except in terms of priority: each request subtracts compliments from your balance, putting you in “debt”. Those with the most debts are placed further down the queue. But if there are many customers contributing to the art of AI, it doesn’t matter, as even users with huge debts of kudos will have their requests fulfilled within seconds.

The images will not download automatically, but you can go to the Images tab and download them manually.

origin 1Artbot gives you many options for creating images, with helpful explanatory text hidden behind the “i” icons.

Mark Hachman/IDG

Contributing your GPU to Stable Horde earns you kudos

But there’s also a way to earn kudos: add your GPU to Horde stable. Every request you fulfill earns you compliments. Also, if you’re actively contributing to the Horde, you can submit art requests and they’ll be prioritized.

Joining your GPU to the Horde requires by downloading and running Stable Diffusion. It’s not entirely clear whether every fork of Stable Diffusion should work, but you can give it a try. (Setting up Stable Diffusion means registering a free account at the AI ​​repository, Hugging Facewith username and password.)

You will then need to download the bridge itself. Go to this Github repo and download and install the zipped versionaccording to documentation. You can then run Horde Bridge manually (or download it via Linux if you prefer). Once installed, you’ll need to set up the bridge with a Horde username and password, as well as the Horde API key, then restart the horde bridge script.

There’s no need to keep your PC’s GPU plugged in and powering the Horde 24/7, as you can unplug or put your system into a “maintenance mode” which essentially tells the Horde that your PC not available.

It’s also fair to say that contributing your GPU to the Stable Horde isn’t for everyone. For one thing, using a powerful GPU costs money, and the extra cost of electricity needs to be factored in. and keep your computer room nice and warm during the winter months!