A modest honorarium will be provided for the following contributions:
2-4 minute pre-recorded video and participation a 75-min virtual roundtable discussion
We ask for a 2–4 minute, pre-recorded video that encapsulates your thoughts about the current and future impact of AI on your work, the arts, and/or culture. Then, in March and April, we invite you to participate in a 75-minute virtual roundtable discussion on the subject. These live panel conversations will be moderated by the event organizers, prompting participants with a series of short queries posed by the panel and by Zoom attendees. The event will be live-streamed at Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame.
2,000–4,000 word reflection on the impact and/or use of AI in art
Revised versions of the written reflections, alongside transcriptions of the virtual dialogues, may ultimately be published in an edited volume on creativity in the age of AI. Submissions may be theoretical, historical, speculative, autobiographical, poetic, or otherwise. Interested participants may be invited to join the creators for a writer's retreat to refine their long-form contributions in Summer 2023.
A digital artwork either in response to or facilitated by AI
A digital art exhibit, featuring work from each participant, will be installed at the Cook Center for Public Arts and Humanities at Indiana University. An accompanying online version will be published on this website. We are aware that not all participants consider themselves artists, but we welcome any creative submission be they pictorial, conceptual, code-based, auditory, literary, theatrical, architectural, or otherwise (as long as they are digital in nature and do not require shipping or extensive physical installation).
In 2018, Christie’s became the first auction house to sell an artwork created by Artificial Intelligence (Portrait of Edmon Belamy sold for $432,500). Four years later, the boom of text-to-image AI generators like Dalle, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, OpenAI’s DALL·E 2 and Google’s Imagen and Parti, which, like LaMDA and GPT-3, also learn to perform transformations from vast data sets, continue to raise complex questions about art, design, and the creative process. Designer Stefan Sagmeister described DALL-E as “absolutely fascinating and will touch likely everything we do. As these programs improve, enormous questions about authorship will arise. I am kind of speechless.” Can we move beyond this speechlessness? As improvements in AI image generation move beyond the uncanny valley and become indistinguishable from human creations, what does this mean for creative practice, and how should artists, designers, and thinkers respond?
In the summer of 2022, many philosophers, engineers, and cultural critics felt compelled to comment on the cultural and existential dimensions of creative AI. Things came to a head when an engineer at Google claimed that the LaMDA chatbot, a deep-learning language processing AI, was in fact sentient. Similar to OpenAI’s better-known GPT-3, these models are more than capable of carrying on conversations with humans, in many ways far exceeding the canonical requirements of the “Turing Test”. Unsurprisingly, this engineer’s claims occasioned an outpouring of thinking and writing about the place of artificial intelligence in the tapestry of human life. But in all this fervor over the linguistic capacities of AI, and its challenge to traditional conceptions of the human, we think something important has been overlooked, namely, the incursion of new technologies into the similarly distinctively human endeavors of creating and appreciating art.
These developments raise questions that are at once pragmatic, economic, artistic, and existential. Is AI a surprising tool for artists and designers to incorporate into their workflow, or a doomsday replacement? What is an artist when not only production but ideation can be outsourced? At the moment, these text-to-image generators still link composition and production to the human voice, human art direction, but for how long? Can AI replace visual creativity—the “gift” of art?1
1. Lewis Hyde, in writing about primitive cultures, explains the exchange of gifts. These gifts cannot be kept and must be passed on. The passing on of gifts is an anthropological device that creates connection (and prevents people from killing one another) because the receiver and gift-giver all become part of a singular experience. His leap of imagination occurs when he goes one step further in saying, "this is what artists do in culture — artists provide that gift to the culture, so that people have something in common."