What Does a Technical Author Look Like?

24 April 2023

While working with my colleague Mike Mason on a forthcoming article, we asked Stable Diffusion to come up with portraits of technical authors. We thought the results were worth sharing.

The results speak volumes about the current state of AI. And perhaps of our broader society - at least as the internet sees it.

After sharing the post so far with Mike, he made a further suggestions

If you wanted to go deeper it would be worth asking a state of the art model like Midjourney for its version, since Stable Diffusion isn't as good as the commercial models. You might also attract criticism for using a very basic prompt -- the longer the prompt, sometimes the better. You could ask ChatGPT to come up with a Stable Diffusion prompt for a technical author.

Er, so I did that:


I'm using Stable Diffusion which is a generative AI text-to-image tool and I want to make a portrait of a technical author. Can you suggest some good prompts to use?


Using Stable Diffusion, you can generate a portrait of a technical author by providing detailed and descriptive prompts. Here are some suggestions for you to try:

"A professional technical author with glasses, working on a laptop, surrounded by technical books and documents, in a well-lit office environment."

"A focused technical writer wearing headphones, typing on a keyboard with a dual-monitor setup, and a cup of coffee nearby."

"A technical author with a friendly smile, holding a pen and a notepad, standing in front of a whiteboard filled with diagrams and notes."

"A confident female technical writer, wearing a blazer and a headset, working on a tablet with a stylus, with a blueprint of a software interface on the table."

"A creative technical author in a comfortable workspace, brainstorming ideas on a mind map, with multiple sticky notes and colored markers around."

"An experienced technical writer, surrounded by stacks of user manuals, reference books, and a corkboard filled with pinned documents, working diligently at their desk."

"A technical author in a modern office, collaborating with colleagues on a large, shared screen, while taking notes and discussing ideas."

Feel free to mix and match elements from these prompts or add your own specifics to create a more personalized portrait. Remember to provide clear and vivid descriptions to help the AI generate a more accurate image.

I'm too lazy to put those prompts into Stable Diffusion (or any of the others) to see how it reacts, but I was intrigued by what ChatGPT chose to put in its prompts.