Gen AI paints a troubling picture for art schools
The Future. Art school instructors need to create academic policies regarding AI image generators — even as they struggle to familiarize themselves with the technology. While many argue that generators are a legitimate means of creative expression, most agree that their use challenges the very idea of artistic originality, especially for professional creators.
Disorder in the court
Vice covers the diverse range of attitudes art instructors hold toward generators like Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, and DALL-E 2.
- Instructors of classical craft classes (where students draw or paint objects from real life) often discourage generative AI use, even for inspirational purposes, claiming that relying on them stunts the development of essential skills.
- Conversely, some digital media teachers encourage engagement with this tech, reasoning that artists should experiment with every tool available to them.
- Classes focused on professional practice and business skills, meanwhile, see these technologies as very threatening for legal and proprietary reasons.
Who’s plagiarizing anyway?
None of the teachers interviewed by Vice had caught their students passing off AI-generated work as their own. They said student critique greatly increased the chance that plagiarized work would be recognized as such. But they were concerned that current high school students might soon be able to fool admissions boards with entirely AI-generated portfolios.
Broad academic policy decisions will likely follow legal decisions over whether human artists can gain proprietary rights over art made with image generators. If the technology is seen as fundamentally plagiaristic, academic institutions will probably agree.