This is a story about a Very Online phenomenon with a Very Universal liability: a name that needed to be changed, pronto. The old name, DALL·E—styled with that little dot instead of a hyphen—is now craiyon, with a lower-case c.
Here’s the story.
In the beginning there was OpenAI, a company incorporated in December 2015 by Elon Musk—maybe you’ve heard of him—and five co-founders. OpenAI is a San Francisco-based artificial-intelligence lab with some serious goals, but it may be best known for an image generator dubbed DALL·E. I wrote about DALL·E in my January 2021 linkfest; the name, I explained, is a blend of “WALL-E”—a Pixar-coined acronym for “Waste Allocation Load Lifter: Earth Class”—and Dali, as in the surrealist artist. As of this writing, OpenAI’s DALL·E is not available to the public. Nor does OpenAI own any trademarks for DALL·E. (This last point will turn out to be a key factor in the story.)
You might say that repurposing WALL-E as DALL·E represented its own sort of load lift, to put it generously. Pixar, however, didn’t appear to mind. Then things got complicated.