In anticipation of the Week 9 OER on Artificial Intelligence coming soon from Safa’a, Seime and Sage, I wanted to share with you my immersion over the last couple of days with the most impressive technology that I’ve encountered in a decade. Yes, I’ve collaborated with an AI, and you and your students can too.
The AI in question is an Art-Bot called “Midjourney“, which you can play with for free (subscriptions start when you become addicted – which you will! – as I have) by going to the Discord.com community and from there to the Midjourney channel, and then clicking into any of the Newbie streams you’ll find there.
Midjourney is an AI-ArtBot, which means it will create totally original art for you on any subject you can dream up, and in any style or digital format you wish. Literally all you need to do is type in a few words to describe what you want, and possibly a few supportive commands, and less than a minute later you’ll be blown away by ‘your’ creativity. Gone is the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” – a half-dozen or less are plenty for the AI to run with. Some examples are appended below.
- Quality – I’m not any kind of artist but I’m sure even professional artists will be humbled, daunted and inspired by the power of this technology. These tools, as they mature, will absolutely, irreversibly disrupt the entire art industry, as well as the broader fine art world.
- Stupidity – The best reason to use this AI is to experience what it is like to collaborate with one in today’s world. It is frustrating trying to get exactly what you want, mostly because the simple interactive communication to enable this isn’t available yet. The AI and its users have different kinds of stupidity. But this is a very young tool and we can expect the AI, at least, not to be stupid for long.
- Understanding – If you look very closely at the images the AI creates, it is immediately clear that nothing is real – every original is like a Frankenstein’s monster, stitched together from spare parts to give you what the AI thinks you want to see. The results are typically spectacular – they will fool anyone who doesn’t look too closely. The AI knows a lot about Art, but almost nothing about Reality.
- Opportunity – My mind has been sparking with prospective ventures arising from this tool. I’m confident its developers began with a very narrow intent and could never imagine the breadth of potential applications. Think about where and how it might become valuable in new ways in your hands.
- What’s Next? – AIs are transforming the world around us, but mostly in invisible ways – this AI is a rare opportunity to collaborate directly with one to understand the incredible capacity it has, to feel empowered by the unprecedented capability it bestows on you, and to reflect on your future, and your students’ futures, as other AIs will inevitably enter every domain of our experience. Try this out with your students – I had a great time yesterday with some 6 and 8 year-olds.
Thoughts and questions welcome. And OK, yes, I’ll try to get back to grading your A1s now…
Below, and with feature image for this post, are images that the AI created for me based on a very words describing our course: