March 31, 2023


Epicurean Science & Tech

What artificial intelligence thinks Steamboat Springs looks like

3 min read
Mt. Werner.
Stable Diffusion

Steamboat Springs and Routt County have long been the subjects of painters, sculptors, photographers and artists of all types who try to capture the beauty of the area.

Now, there’s a new way to display the colors and scenes of Steamboat: an artificial intelligence-created image.

These images were created using a program called Dream Studio beta, a more rapid and accessible version of Stable Diffusion, a text-to-image model that was released to the public last month.

The program does its best to create accurate images based on the text prompt, but some are less accurate than others.

Steamboat Springs

People conjure different images when thinking about Steamboat Springs. Some think winter, some think summer, some think ranches, some think exploring. These find a way to capture most of the Steamboat experience, but not all of it.

Steamboat Ski Resort

A search for Steamboat Resort brings up more buildings than mountainside scenes, so adding the word ‘ski’ warranted better results.

Steamboat Springs in the fall

There’s really no way to do this incorrectly. So, A+ artificial intelligence.

Rabbit Ears Peak

These were far more accurate than expected. While the peak itself isn’t perfect, the surrounding terrain and the views are pretty darn close.

Downtown Steamboat Springs

I would have been astonished if these got any more accurate. The proximity to the resort is a bit off, but the program nailed the charming vibe of downtown.

Flat Tops Wilderness

It’s hard for anyone to capture the glory of the Flat Tops Wilderness, but these are pretty off target. The dramatic landscape and Alpine lakes are what makes the area special and these images don’t capture that.

Northwest Colorado

These images look a little more like Summit County than Routt County, but they still capture the Northwest Colorado beauty that we all love. One photo looks like the Flat Tops more than the actual Flat Tops photos. I also love the wildflowers that came up in these.

Mt. Werner

Typing Mt. Werner brought up Everest-like peaks, but prompting Mt. Werner in Steamboat Springs brought up these gems. These are the only images in which a bike was generated.

Yampa River

Already, many of the images of Steamboat accurately had a river or some sort of body of water in them. These are just a little more specific and while not 100% accurate, still have characteristics of the Yampa.

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