Artificial intelligence develops human creativity – and CQU Digital Media

Brendan Murphy, CQ University lecturer.

A CQUniversity digital media lecturer delves into the amazing and weird world of artificial intelligence (AI) art, with a plan to transform digital media courses at CQU.

The talented Brendan Murphy experimented with DALL·E 2, an artificial intelligence system capable of creating realistic images and illustrations from textual descriptions.

Mr Murphy said the system works by analyzing how humans have described images and taps into its memory to produce works of art.

“DALL·E 2 is like an artistic Uber driver that guides you through a very complex space to get the image you want,” Murphy said.

“The key element of the system is its roadmap, built from AI analysis of a plethora of matched images and text descriptions.

“I think the system initially aimed to capture subjects, styles and genres, but because captions or human written descriptions accompany each analyzed image, the system also captured moods and emotions.

“These elements are more difficult to exploit but more powerful in terms of art.

“If you are patient enough to follow a winding path through the DALL·E 2 space, you can create images that are original and that you feel connected to.”

In addition to introducing DALL·E 2 to the program by using the system to create images for use in course material, Mr. Murphy also has two creative projects in the works.

“One project is to go through my catalog of photographs and find images to slightly edit using DALL·E 2, and another is to put song lyrics into the caption box and massage the results to come up with evocative images that match the mood of the source material,” he said.

“While I focus on the creative potential of these systems and enjoy making art with them, they are disruptive technologies.

“They can produce compelling photography and decent packaging and poster designs.”

Mr Murphy said this technology has developed slowly over the past decade, and while it may look fun and cute, he believes it will transform digital media.

“The high-level skills we offer in our degree will be more valuable than ever,” Murphy said.

“Students are becoming more aware of AI tools and have started using them in their projects.”

Over the next two weeks, Mr. Murphy will visit a few high schools in Rockhampton to give art students a chance to use DALL·E 2 to explore how emotion is conveyed in art.

“I hope that by introducing these students to DALL·E 2 and AI Art, they will pursue creative careers in digital media.”

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