Dall-E 3, the latest image-generating software created by OpenAI, can produce a picture of almost anything. It can conjure a watercolor portrait of a mermaid, a personalized birthday greeting or a faux photograph of Spider-Man eating pizza, all based on just a few words of prompting.

The new version of the tool, released in September, represents a "leap forward,” in artificial intelligence-created images, OpenAI says. Dall-E 3 offers better detail and the ability to render text more reliably. It’s also further stoked illustrators’ fears that they will be replaced by a computer program mimicking their work.

Rapid improvements in image generation have spurred artists to push back on generative AI startups, which ingest vast troves of internet data in order to generate content like pictures or text. It hasn’t helped much that OpenAI’s new process for artists who want to exclude their data from the system is time-consuming and complex. Some have sued generative AI companies. Others have turned to a growing number of digital tools allowing artists to monitor whether their work has been picked up by AI. And still others have resorted to mild sabotage.