Rutkowski was initially surprised, but thought it could be a good way to reach a new audience. Then he tried to search by name to see if a piece he had been working on had already been published. The online search brought back work that had his name attached to it, but that didn’t belong to him.
“It’s only been a month. And in a year? I probably won’t be able to find my work there because [the internet] will be flooded with AI art,” says Rutkowski. “That’s worrying.”
Stability.AI, the company that built Stable Diffusion, trained the model on the LAION-5B dataset compiled by the German non-profit organization LAION. LAION merged and minified the dataset by filtering out watermarked images and images that weren’t aesthetically pleasing, such as logo images, said Andy Baio, a technologist and writer who downloaded and analyzed some data from Stable Diffusion. Baio analyzed 12 million of the 600 million images used to train the model and found that a large proportion of them come from third-party websites such as Pinterest and art shopping sites such as Fine Art America.
Many of Rutkowski’s artworks come from ArtStation, a website where many artists upload their online portfolios. Its popularity as an AI prompt stems from a number of reasons.
“Secret Pass – Eagle Nest” is a personal work from Rutkowski’s ArtStation portfolio.
First off, his fantastic and ethereal style looks very cool. He is also prolific and many of his illustrations are available online in a high enough quality so there are plenty of examples to choose from. An early text-to-image generator called Disco Diffusion offered Rutkowski as a sample prompt.
Rutkowski also added alt text in English when uploading his work online. These descriptions of the images are useful for visually impaired people using screen reader software, and they also help search engines rank the images. This also makes them easy to scrape and the AI model knows which images are relevant to prompts.