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Meet Stable Horde, a crowdsourced AI art project similar to Folding@Home

Is it necessary for your computer to look for aliens? Then then, you may lend a hand to the cause of creating art using AI. Stable Horde is a new collaborative initiative that lets you contribute spare GPU cycles from your own computer to the creation of artificial intelligence art.

You may utilise the “horde” of computers to make your own AI art, or you can volunteer your spare computer time to assist others make amazing works of AI art. Stable Horde is comparable to SETI@Home and Folding@Home, both of which will “hibernate” in 2020. Both of the latter options put your computer to work on large-scale computations like protein analysis. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is put to use creatively in Stable Horde.

The GPU on your own computer is used in Stable Diffusion, whereas Stable Horde is a decentralised version of that programme. You may choose between two paths if you want to join the Horde. The distributed GPUs allow you, the admirer of AI artwork, to produce your own. Your computer might potentially become a part of the Horde. If you do, you can leverage your “kudos” to have your requests prioritised even if you don’t have a very strong GPU. If you’re looking for a geeky way to assist out your neighbourhood, joining Stable Horde is a great place to start.

Applying AI to the practise of making art using Stable Horde as a client

A number other front-end interfaces are available for Stable Horde, but I find myself most often using ArtBot to access the Horde and generate AI artwork. (There is also a client interface that may be accessed independently, in the form of a Web-based version or downloaded software.) The one other step you need do is to sign up with Stable Horde, since this will provide you access to their API. If you sign up, you’ll get a username, but the API key is what the Horde will use to recognise you. When prompted, input the API key when using a client. Those who want to utilise the service anonymously may do so, but they will be sent to the back of the line. Not a good idea, since it will just push you farther down the queue as more requests come in.

The client interface of Stable Horde is quite similar to that of other AI art generators, with the exception that the Horde has a wide variety of AI models, each with its own unique visual style. Upscaling, inpainting, and image-to-image creation are all possible (though the latter features was broken at press time).

You may ask for not just the standard Stable Diffusions models, but also more advanced ones like the one that was trained using Midjourney. (While Midjourney is excellent at making AI artwork, it also costs at least $10 per month; this approach generates a “free” alternative.) You can experiment with what does and doesn’t work since the Artbot/Stable Horde service is so inexpensive.

There is a little caveat, though: the kudos system. Developer has built mechanism where every request “costs” some amount of kudos to prevent exploitation of the system. Only in the context of priority do kudos have any real value; when you make requests, they are subtracted from your total, placing you “in debt.” Individuals with the highest debt loads are sent to the back of the line. This isn’t a problem, however, since even customers with huge kudos debts will get their requests fulfilled in seconds if there are numerous clients providing AI art.

Stable Horde appreciates your GPU contributions

There is, however, another way to gain respect: by joining the Stable Horde and contributing your GPU. Respect grows with every satisfied customer. More so, if you’re helping out the Horde, your art requests will be given priority.

Stable Diffusion must be installed and executed before your GPU may join the Horde. Stable Diffusion’s forks may not all be guaranteed to operate, but you may give them a go if you like. (In order to get started with Stable Diffusion, you’ll need to create a free account with the artificial intelligence repository HuggingFace and set up a username and password.)

After that, you’ll need to get the bridge itself by downloading it. Get the archived version from this Github source and instal it per the instructions. The Horde Bridge may then be operated by hand (or download it via Linux, if you prefer.) After installation, the horde-bridge script must be restarted and a Horde username, password, and API key entered before the bridge can be used.

You may inform the Horde that your computer is unavailable without having to leave its GPU plugged in and running all the time by switching to “maintenance mode” or unplugging it entirely.

It’s also true that some people may not be interested in helping the Stable Horde by donating their graphics processing unit. To begin with, there is the issue of the additional cost of energy while using a powerful GPU. On the other side, a solar-powered house may take advantage of a significant portion of “free” electricity, help out the neighbourhood, and keep your computer room nice and toasty during the cold winter months.