Minor AI research

I was about to start posting few images from my monthly NovelAI (NAI) subscription, but the next day my creditcard expired and I lost access to the image generation. kek.
Instead of instantly re-subscribing I decided to check what other AI services are there. And boy did I go through a rabbit hole.

Phase 1

For image generation, a friend recommended this LeonardoAI and I have to say, I’m impressed. They offer free daily generations and more if one subscribes. The quality is really good for the semi-realistic that it generates by default. I did struggle to get any anime-ish images that I was used to get in NAI. I also tried the training functionality, but that failed totally. I then removed the trained model to test another one, but alas, the free account only gives one to play with.
Price for the lowest tier is ~10€ so it’s similar to NAI and they both give the user all rights for the created content (, but don’t take my word for it [disclaimer]).
LeonardoAI doen not create text at all. This is a feature in NAI that I didn’t know I wanted, but writing your own stories can be incredibly fun. Should I subsribe to the lowest tiers of these it would cost me ~20€/month. This starts to hurt my wallet in the long term so I researched more.
Then I tried this project called imgn.ai. It’s a bot that you can add to your discord server to generate images. Free to use, but not sure about the commercial usage or other licensing. It is easy to use has unlimited generations and multiple styles.

Phase 2

DIY and save money. I have my recently bought gaming-laptop that I use to test ixbar3000GT; It’s also the most powerful rig I have. Perhaps that could run some AI, I thought. The short answer is: “No” and the long “Yes, but”.
For any reasonable AI one needs 12G VRAM; My rig only has 4G VRAM. So in order to get AI performing computer, I’d need to get a new one, with focus on the GPU VRAM. Nvidia 40-series ranges from 1000€ to 2200€, which is painful for my wallet. To justify that cost I’d need to do something productive with it, perhaps I could train my own AI?
I was able to run some smaller LLM (Large Language Model) on this rig, but the results were not impressive. The chatbot acted like it was a script from some C64 game.
KoboldAI has a special version called Koboldcpp that is made for potato-computers like mine is. AFAIK, It is made so that it used CPU and RAM instead of GPU’s VRAM. Really simple to set up, but really slow. To get a responce, the queries take 30-300 seconds compute. The answers it gives are sometimes junk, but I did get some really good messages too. Not good enough for the new computer though.


To subscribe or not that is the question. A new computer dedicated, or at least prioritized for AI is expensive and while it is possible to to my own unlimited generations, I’m not sure if it’s worth it. Now if I were to make some research on AI and do my own training or whatnot, then maybe it would be a boon for my career. Should I take some AI courses? Should I wait for the prices to come down? If I were to buy a new rig here’s how I’d prioritize it:

  • Minimum VRAM: 12G
  • Manufacturer: NVidia
  • Minimum RAM: 16G

The above is the bare miminum that should be greatly exceeded.

Tested Software/Services

free option subscription usenotes
NovelAINo$10+images & text/storyGreat for storytelling, OK for imagegeneration
Leonardo.aiYes$12+imagesGreat for semi-realistic image generation
imgnAIYesN/AimagesGood for image generation
spicychatYesN/Atext/chatEasy way to test AI-chat
AI HordeyesN/Aimages & text/chat Crowdsourced AI cluster for everything

Horde is interesting project as it has even plugins for GIMP, Krita and Godot.
imgnAI is creating some companion AI called Naifu.
NAI and LAI are improving their strengths -> Kayra & Alchemy.

Local Text Generation Software

KoboldcppCPU implementation of Kobold for machines with out the necessary VRAM.
KoboldAIBrowser-based front-end for AI-assisted writing.
OobaboogaBrowser-based front-end for AI-assisted writing.
Silly TavernBrowser-based front-end to manage different AI characters.

Local Image Generation Software

Not happening on my current machines. Sad.