Drawing of a horse at different levels of fidelity, with lines indicating 1.1, 2.1, and 2.2 (which relate to classes of degree). The author is indicating that this approach is misguided.

Great post by Dave White, who works at University of the Arts, London. His point, which is well-made, is that in the world of Generative AI, we have to take an art school approach to… everything.

It’s interesting, because I can see elements of metacognition and systems thinking in all this. This kind of thing, along with the ways I’ve been using Generative AI in my own studies, make me cautiously optimistic.

Let’s say I set you the task of creating a picture of a horse, you can achieve this any way you want. The catch is that you have to explain why you have taken a certain approach, what you think the value of this approach is and the extent to which you have been successful relative to that value. (Importantly, you can also reflect on how you might have failed to do this).

You can use all kinds of tools to construct this story: theory, method, process, your identity, your cultural influences and experiences, a chosen canon of relevant work etc. This forms the narrative of your work and this can be assessed. 


[T]here are many similarities in the questions raised by Gen AI and Wikipedia because they are both technologies of cultural production which rapidly emerged in the public domain. This is a category of technology we consistently struggle with because it recategorises forms of labour and professional identities.


In the same way that copying and pasting from Wikipedia has very little value but can be very useful, so too with Gen AI. In practice this means much of what we characterised as creative work is being merged into broader notions of ‘production’, something Tobias Revell has discussed in terms of Design potentially ceasing to be a specialist field. 


Under these circumstances there is an imperative to teach beyond ‘good’, thereby equipping our graduates to swim to the surface of imitation and operate above the ever rising tide of skills-that-can-now-be-done-by-generalists.

Source: Dave White