We aren't talking about Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), these tools are not our attempt at replicating human intelligence. These are just tools that rely on technological advances inspired by how the brain works. You've already been using AI tools for years, if you use e-mail, spellcheck, online translators, social media, image editors, smartphones, search engines, chess engines, virtual assistants, smart appliances, autopilot, finance apps, etc.
This guide will help you understand the variety of issues and opportunities related to AI, and is meant to prompt ideas for your own research and exploration.
To students: Jobs in your profession might not be replaced by AI, but people who can't use AI tools might be replaced by people who can! Keeping up with advances in AI-enhanced tools will give you an edge in the job market. Even if you don't use AI tools in your practice, this is likely to be a topic of conversation amongst professional artists for years, so it's important to have a basic understanding necessary to be part of the conversation.
To faculty: It can be very beneficial for students to see how art professionals research technological advancements in their field. Our students appreciate when I let them toss topics at me during a research demonstration, so they can watch how I troubleshoot and learn from my mistakes live. In that same spirit, you could just have a day where you say "let's figure this out together!"
Try following hashtags like #aiart #aiartwork #aiartcommunity #aiartist to see new examples of work being created by or with AI tools.
Here are some ways that AI technology is integrated into the tools you already use or have access to as current Lesley student/staff/faculty:
If an image-generating AI tool is trained using reference images from random creators on the internet, and these tools create a new work based on those reference images, is that a derivative work? Only a creator/copyright holder has the right to create derivatives of their own work, so we have to wait to see if the US courts decide that image-generators are creating new, transformative works (legal and copyrightable as a new work) or if they are creating derivative, or substantially similar (and therefor illegal) works.
There are information literacy lessons you can teach/learn, using AI tools:
AI Tools can help you summarize articles, generate keywords, find visual inspiration, and create reference images. Here are some examples of the benefits and limitations of different tools, but be sure to search the web for the latest free AI tools and any reviews/criticism of them before you use them, as it's a constantly shifting landscape.
Because this is a complex subject, it helps to find video series that offer multiple educational videos, scaffolded to teach you over time. For example, check out this CrashCourse video, which is the 3rd video in their AI series, and then decide if you want to start with video 1, or skip ahead, depending on your current knowledge of the subject.