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The Talon

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The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

The Talon

Digital Brushstrokes: The Tumultuous Fusion of AI and Artistic Expression in Education

Dall-E generated image with the prompt 
“Mosaic Art Piece Of Royalty”
Chukwudalu Dumebi-Kachikwu with AI
Dall-E generated image with the prompt “Mosaic Art Piece Of Royalty”

 One of my favorite art pieces is “The Rat King.” To see a king be given the lowly qualities of a rat reveals the true inner nature of power. Furthermore, the obsessive eyes show an insatiable thirst for whatever his heart desires. Then, the irony of the lowly rat looking down on the viewer portrays the blind nature of power. Additionally, the tile-like texture makes every detail pop out, enforcing this king’s presence. However, there’s one problem: this was made by AI. 

Love it or hate it, Artificial Intelligence is coming into the visual art field through AI image generation. This process takes input in various forms, such as textual descriptions, existing images, or data patterns, and uses complex algorithms to create visual art. AI art generators leverage neural networks, particularly Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), which essentially “learn” from a vast database of existing artworks. These networks consist of two parts: the generator, which creates images, and the discriminator, which evaluates them. The AI refines its creations through iterative processes to produce increasingly sophisticated and nuanced artworks.

This technology opens up new frontiers in the art world, allowing for exploring styles and concepts that might be beyond human capabilities or combining artistic elements in novel ways. However, it also raises important questions about creativity, originality, and the very definition of art. As AI art becomes more prevalent, conflicts regarding how it should be handled pop up more and more. One such conflict is in the Advanced Placement (AP) Programs new policies. The College Board oversees AP courses in the United States and has banned AI art in AP art classes. As explicitly stated on their website: “The use of artificial intelligence tools by AP Art and Design students is categorically prohibited at any stage of the creative process.” This includes using AI as references, for ideation, or for any assistance in conceptualizing or executing artistic works. 

These new adaptations in academia to the emerging generative power of AI, specifically the Advanced Placement Program, are seen differently in the art community, especially at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. Through interviews with students at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School on the topic of the ban of AI in AP art classes, it becomes evident that the apprehension toward AI in art education is multifaceted. While the ban  is a drastic shift, AI image generation has only started growing exponentially recently, starting around 2021. Thus, not all students have had time to pick up the tool and integrate it into their workflow.  However, this is not uniform across the board; as Ms. Irby, the school’s AP art teacher, emphasized, “Some are impacted more than most.” 

This diversity in impact follows through on the approach to the ban; AP art students like Ang Bezos ‘24 argue that they believe “the ban is responsible.” explaining that” AP already has a rule that ensures no art is stolen by making students cite their sources. If they allowed AI, it would be utterly hypocritical of them. The reason is that AI takes from data that can’t be cited, and just citing the AI itself isn’t enough if we want to ensure all artists are seen and not stolen from.”  Another student, Ella Jarrell ’24  shares this sentiment and emphasizes that the ban ensures students will use their imagination.  However, interestingly enough, Ms. Irby criticizes the ban as “A band-aid on a bigger problem, “advocating for “a general policy that applies to all classes.”

Despite this disparage in views, the teacher and students similarly believe in AI’s role in the creative process. The general understanding of the difference between the AI-making process and humans being effort or creativity.  As Ella Jarrell ’24  described AI art, “You’re just typing a sentence to generate something, but with real art, you go through stages of drafting, sketching, drawing, painting, sculpting, or whatever to create the art. There’s real effort put into what you’re making. Those differences are important because they add life and humanity to your creation.” 

Meanwhile, Ang Bezos ‘24 and Ms. Irby see the stark contrast in the creative input of the art. As Ang Bezos ‘24 described, ” AI art can make some amazing things and has, but that’s only because the data it’s taking from was human-made. It has parts of the beauty, soul, and passion of human-made art, but the more you look, the easier it is to distinguish AI art from human art because it inherently lacks that real human touch.” Furthermore, Ms. Irby emphasizes that AI’s nature of pulling from the same place forces it to be repetitive. 

While these differences undermine the use of AI art, Ms. Irby did see merit in its use and pointed out it could be a helpful idea generator, helping those struggling to visualize an idea in their head. However, in seeing merit, Ms. Irby also fears that beginner students will use it as a crutch, “not using it as a part of the creative process but use it as the creative process.” Beyond the fear of the creative crutch, Ms. Irby has noticed discouragement amongst younger artists. She believes that the fear is valid in the digital art field with “media and marketing being taken over by AI art.” Many artists share Ms. Irby’s argument, and this trend of AI in media can be seen in the highest of companies like Marvel. For Secret Invasion, a TV show produced by Marvel, the directors worked with Method Studios to make the opening sequence, and they used an AI tool to get a large chunk of it done. While Marvel’s creative choices don’t represent all brands it gives a solid base for fear. Thus Ms. Irby believes traditional art is safer until a particular type of 3D printer can enter that market. However, Ms. Irby is hopeful that “as a society, we see value in human creativity” yet also remarks that “as seen with humanity. Human greed takes over, and people will go the cheapest route.”

Yet, due to this fear, Good Counsel artists believe AI should be discussed at least. In an ever-growing society where exponentialism no longer seems to encapsulate our growth, it is necessary to be aware of change. As Ms. Irby puts it best, we can’t “freeze ourselves in the past and pretend the world isn’t changing.” Even Ella Jarrell ’24  who supports the ban and believes AI should not be implemented into education, especially art, believes “ we should be taught that, at this point for AI, it shouldn’t be a substitute for learning. People should be allowed to play around and explore what AI can do. Still, as for actual education, I don’t believe it should be a part of any curriculum or anything like that.” This is further backed by Ang Bezos ‘24, who describes that “exposure to AI technology is important for art students, but not in the way of “we need to try it for ourselves.” It’s becoming increasingly important that we talk about the negatives of AI art, from the data it’s sourcing to its effect on real artists.”

Despite the diverse approaches to handling AI, it is nearly universal that the topic must be talked about. As an institution of education, we aim to provide the necessary tools for our community to succeed, and one of those tools is knowledge of how to handle our future. So, the same would apply to our artists. Interestingly enough, the International Baccalaureate program has chosen not to ban AI in any course, including art, explaining that the process of banning “is an ineffective way to deal with innovation.” However, they stress that AI must align with the IB’s academic integrity policy.

Looking beyond the Advanced Placement Program, how should art education handle the use of AI, given it’s inevitable it will integrate itself into the field?

Well, there’s an approach like that of Ang Bezos ‘24. Ang believes that it’s best not to integrate it; however, if they could try allowing artists “to take their own source photo, put it into AI, and use it only as a reference without copying any of it outright,” This approach would practically personalize AIs to the artist, and help them draw inspiration from their previous artworks. Today, as Open AI has opened its own GPT store for miniature AI and AI knowledge becomes more public with courses like Harvard CS50’s Artificial Intelligence with Python, this future seems pretty close. Perhaps one day, as schools give students their iPads/laptops, they will be equipped with a personal AI that grows with the students’ knowledge. However, Ang Bezos ‘24 stresses that this approach has issues as well. 

Another approach is to tailor it to the program and course. There is no one size fits all, so as Ms. Irby puts it, we should “be open-minded and selective on how it can be used. Never good to ban something completely; there is value in everything.” explaining it’s “up to [educators] to clearly outline your expectations for students so it can be used creatively in the classroom” This approach could allow teachers to tailor the use of Ai to their class and its goals. A teacher could teach how to use AI as part of that creative process, deterring the need for students to cheat.  

Ultimately, as the technology for Artificial Intelligence is complex, so are the issues it raises. And while these issues deal with computers, our solutions don’t have to be binary. All solutions may have merit, or an unconventional idea has yet to be considered. 

One thing is certain: GC brushes are in good hands with amazing minds.



“2023-24 Guidance for Artificial Intelligence Tools and Other Services.” *AP Central | College Board*, College Board, 2023,

Millman, Zosha. “Yes, Secret Invasion’s opening credits scene is AI-made —

here’s why.” Edited by Susano Polo. Polygon, 22 June 2023,