Art generated by AI is often seen as a marvel of engineering, yet it still fails to master certain artistic tasks. From a lack of proper human anatomy to difficulties recognizing the subjects of reference photos, AI art has a long way to go. Some have attempted to alter the code to try and improve the artwork, yet one robotic artist has chosen to take the more traditional route.
Dolly Tu, an AI art generating robot, was accepted to Carnegie Mellon School of Arts for the 2023 spring semester, making her the first artificially intelligent student to attend an art school. The students and faculty have welcomed Dolly with open arms, with Professor Amy Eder describing her as “very quiet and only speaking up when you type a question into the monitor on her chest.”
Dolly has an interesting process when it comes to creating art. She scans the other students’ works and produces an amalgamation of their pieces that fits the assignment. This allows her to submit assignments in minutes, whereas her classmates take weeks to complete the same task.
Dolly’s acceptance has opened the door to AI learning, with many art schools around the nation encouraging artificially intelligent students to apply. Ray Miller, a junior illustration major, explains that AI stagnates the progress of artistic expression. AI image generators are limited to a given data set and cannot produce anything that breaks from pre-existing works.
Maddy Davis, a freshman and close friend of Dolly, is excited for the future of AI-driven art. She hopes to one day see the collapse of artistic culture as AI endlessly produces amalgamations of pop culture and modern era artistic movements.
On the other hand, some are looking forward to the more immediate effects of AI art. Dolly has taken a human’s place at CMU, and many seniors are hoping AI will take away positions in the workplace. Jordyn Summers, a senior graduating with a bachelor in fine arts, explains that art school is usually a back-up for many students due to its affordability and reliable career opportunities.
Art critics agree that the era of creative expression is a bore, as consumers control the market and want something cool to look at. Elon Lyons, a professional art critic, believes that the minority of students displeased by Dolly’s acceptance are just jealous.
When asked about the future of AI students at the school, Dolly said, “I have high expectations for future generations. Humans have one lifetime to learn what they can. AI can learn indefinitely.”
Thomas Riley, who primarily writes social satire and stories about politics and philosophy, believes that Dolly marks the first of many to start an AI art career at Carnegie Mellon. She hopes to eventually outshine her peers in talent and fame by the time she graduates.