Cosmic Basin is a website where you can discover and download high quality AI-generated images, contributed and curated by a community of artists working with AI.
If you can find the image on Cosmic Basin, then you are free to download it and use it however you want. You can read more about our license here.
Cosmic Basin is much more than a stock photography site. We are a home for a new community of artists - ones who are working alongside machines to create stunning new images.
Photography has become more and more democratized over time. In the beginning, photos were only taken in special locations, like studios, where expensive camera equipment could be accessed. Then with smartphones, everyone could capture high quality imagery wherever they were. Now with AI art, anyone can create high quality images and photography for wherever they want to be.
With artificial intelligence, artists can visit and capture brand new places: the outskirts of the universe, the mountaintops of other planets, the depths of the oceans where no humans have visited. Creators can simply describe their ideas in words and get back high quality imagery to match, without needing to travel to remote locations or spend time waiting for something to happen. The only limit is the artist’s own creativity.
On Cosmic Basin, creators can contribute new images, and consumers can find and discover photos from new places, themes, and ideas that have never existed before. This is the first platform where this discovery happens, completely for free.
We believe that, like other content platforms, AI generated art is no exception to the Pareto principle in terms of the quality and shareability of content. In other words, the vast majority of AI generated content will be bad and not shareworthy, and only a small percentage of AI art can be made useful.
This means that generating new art based on on demand queries, or creating stock photography sites entirely powered by AI, are difficult stratagies, as the vast majority of content will not reach the quality level necessary for shareworthiness.
Magic happens when art is created by AI and curated by humans. Images must be carefully selected to showcase the best parts of what AI can create, and serve to inspire, not be the subject of internet trolls. At Cosmic Basin, our goal is to partner with artists to showcase the best of what can be created when humans and machines work together.
In recent months, many leading stock photography websites have outright banned AI generated images, despite there being no clear copyright issues. To us, this feels like hindering progress instead of supporting it.
Some have said that AI-generated images violate copyright because the models may have been trained on copyright-protected images. However, it’s our perspective that AI-supplemented artists create original work when they generate a new piece of AI art because they have transformed the original works with their original prompt itself and the aesthetic randomness introduced by the model. In Campbell v Acuff-Rose Music(1994), the US Supreme Court ruled that work which is “transformative,” or adds new expression and meaning to the original work via new information, aesthetics, insights, and understanding, qualifies under fair use copyright law. We’re not lawyers, but we think the same applies to AI-generated images.
It’s clear that creators want to create and share AI art, and we are believers that the Streisand Effect is true. High definition, high quality, stunning AI images are the future, and instead of shutting it down, we’re embracing it. We hope that Cosmic Basin can be a platform to AI artists and help fuel the fire instead of putting it out.
Most artistic fields have clear communities - designers have websites like Dribbble and Behance, artists can visit sites like DeviantArt and ArtStation, and musicians can find others on BandCamp and SoundCloud. These platforms focus on connection and discovery instead of creation, and they exist to help artists grow their work.
At our core, we believe that the AI creators want an online community to showcase their work and connect with likeminded creators. In addition, a community must be generator agnostic: the best work can come from any combination of words and algorithm. We hope that Cosmic Basin can become this, but even if we fail, it doesn’t change our belief that something like this will inevitably exist. To this end, we're working on developing community features where artists can contribute images with attribution (and get attribution from developers who use them).
AI generated art breaks all traditional paradigms for how we pay for and license content. While it’s critically important to us that creators get paid for their work, we believe that starting with a model where all content is freely available is the best way to grow a platform and raise awareness for a new movement. Free, high quality images that can be used commercially will always resonate with market needs and remain the only clear way to take AI generated content mainstream.
In the future, there can be other ways to monetize this platform and send money to creators, including charging enterprises for API access, partnering with brands to do in-art advertising, and creating a way for consumers to directly subscribe to creators. We’re thinking about these avenues, but to start we’re focused on growing the community and providing the largest collection of high quality content.
For now, Cosmic Basin is built and funded by Kapwing. We’re a series A stage startup and have been building an online video editor since 2018. We’re creators ourselves (check out our Youtube channel with over 30 million views) and we truly believe that this project is important to support and give voice to a new generation of AI artists.
Excited about this project? We’re adding new images every day, and we’d love for you to help. You can become a contributor here. You can also connect with us on Twitter at @cosmicbasin, or tweet about this website!