Prompt Battle

Upcoming: tba

A rendering of a list showing all Prompt Battles


February 4, 2023
Prompt Battle #2: Transmediale

November 16, 2022
Prompt Battle: Online Jam
Screen Walks

October 30, 2022
Prompt Battle #1: Showdown (w/ AI bar)

October 29, 2022
Prompt Battle #1: Qualifying

What is a prompt battle?

Prompt Battle is a live event where people compete against each other using text-to-image software. Show off your prompt skills and maybe the audience will choose you as the winner who elicited the most surprising, disturbing or beautiful images from the latent spaces of DALL·E 2, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, Craiyon, etc.

About Prompt Battle

When Open AI published its state of the art image generator DALL·E 2 in April 2022 as a close beta to a selected group of early testers, the release was accompanied by a long document contemplating potential risks and limitations of the new technology. Among the many concerns, Open AI also considered, that »if commercial access is eventually granted, those who have more experience using and building with the technology may have first mover advantage – for example, they may have more time to develop better prompt engineering techniques.« Now that users have a variety of models at their disposal to develop these techniques, the question becomes more and more prevalent: Do you have what it takes to become a Prompt Engineer?

In 2022, the development of machine learning models capable of transforming text prompts into images made a quantum leap in both quality and accessibility. DALL·E 2 seems to be ahead of the curve, but as the runners-up demonstrate, a competitive edge can be gained, not just through higher degrees of technical precision (Imagen), but also through a more permissive, meme-friendly, policy when it comes to content moderation (Craiyon), or by granting its users full ownership over their creations (Midjourney).

The history of professional image creation is rich with examples of new technologies causing sudden changes in the economics of time, money, and skills required to produce high-quality pictures representative of the zeitgeist. From small format cameras, via polaroid, to todays ubiquity of digital cameras and digital editing and publishing tools, it seemingly only got easier and cheaper to make oneself an image of the world. With the advent of what some now call »Promptism«, yet another such inflection point has been reached, replacing super precise pixel pushing with quasi-magical incantations, navigating the murky latent space by trial and error, enticing the apparatus to reveal what data it has been clandestinely fed on, conjuring up endless permutations, regurgitated from our collectively produced image databases.

The credits in the style of a movie about rap battles

Prompt Battle Format developed by

Florian A. Schmidt (twtr) & Sebastian Schmieg (twtr)

with the design students at HTW Dresden:

Bernadette Geiger
Ella Zickerick
Emily Krause
Levi Stein
Lina Schwarzenberg
Robert Hellwig

Moderation: Yidi Tsao

Do you want to participate in the online Prompt Battle on November 16? Then leave your email address here: