Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Eskwelabs AI & Art Socials
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Team Journal

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Eskwelabs AI & Art Socials

We give you a preview of one of our team socials and how we can weave future-relevant topics such as artificial intelligence or AI into these weekly team rituals.

We start this team journal and blog post by confessing that we’ll be sharing more questions than answers. After reading this, we hope you see the possibilities of forming bonds with people via asking beautiful questions. Warren Berger, author of “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas,” says that a “beautiful question is an ambitious yet actionable question that can begin to shift the way we perceive or think about something—and that might serve as a catalyst to bring about change.” 

Let’s first start off with a big and beautiful (and specific) question that tackles themes of fairness, attribution, and hardwork.

“Is it fair for an AI-generated piece to win an art competition?”

The AI vs Artist debate

The Eskwelabs team held an “AI & Art” Socials event last September 9, 2022 where we explored the role of AI in our visual branding and content creation efforts. Every Friday social has a theme. We treat these simple company-wide virtual gatherings as opportunities to give thanks for the week that was, try out new online games, get to know our team members, and—like our AI & Art event—explore relevant topics to our organization. 

One of the segments was about discussing the result of this year’s Colorado State Fair fine arts competition. Jason Allen, a local designer there, won the Digital Arts award with his piece titled, “Théâtre D’opéra Spatial.” The judges had chosen this piece amongst 21 other entries from other artists’ submissions.

Source: Discord

When it was revealed that his piece was AI-generated, the internet burst with mixed reviews.

Team Yay (“How exciting!”)

  • An argument that is pro-AI-generated art revolves around marveling at the relationship between the human guiding the AI and the whole exploratory process.
  • There are artists who are excited to see how they can incorporate the prompt-making and prompt-experimentation process into their workflows.
  • We have defendenders of Jason Allen who believe that there is much work done in the creation of the piece—from refinement in the prompts to final selection.

Team Nay (“This is not right!”)

  • An anti AI-generated art sentiment likens this situation to why we don’t allow robots compete in the Olympics
  • Others express disappointment at what they perceive as the efficiency and ease of making AI-generated art
  • There is fear from others who are now thinking of the death of artistry and the safety of creative jobs.

The thoughts above came from Twitter reactions to Jason Allen’s revelation. As for the Eskwelabs team, we are happy to say that we are approaching things with a more open mind. After all, our very own Senior Brand Designer, Bela Lumba, has started co-creating with AI this year. Her process in exploring DALL-E and using Midjourney for Eskwelabs visual materials is incredibly fascinating. 

Reflection questions for you

  • “Is it fair for an AI-generated piece to win an art competition? 
  • What are the layers to this question?
  • What are the implications of this incident (regardless of whether or not you’re an artist)?”
“What makes art…art?”

Mini game: AI-generated or Artist-made

Can you tell which is which? We’ll show you the exact same slides that our team went through last September 9. Based on the game’s outcome, the team realized how difficult—and almost impossible—it was to distinguish between AI-generated art and artist-made pieces. 

The answer key is at the bottom of each round!

Round 1

Round 1 Answer key: Left - AI-generated and Right - art by Henrik Sahlström

Round 2

Round 2 Answer key: Left - AI-generated and Right - product on Amazon

Round 3

Round 3 Answer key: Left - art by Kai Carpenter and Right - AI-generated

Round 4

Round 4 Answer key: Left - art by Louise Anog and Right - AI-generated

Round 5

Round 5 Answer key: Left - AI-generated and Right - art by Yao Wen-han

Round 6

Round 6 Answer key: Left - AI-generatd and Right - art by Paweł Latkowski

Round 7

Round 7 Answer key: Left - art by Jstiller30 on Deviantart and Right - AI-generated

Round 8

Round 8 Answer key: Left - AI-generated and Right - art by Jordan Lamarre-Wan

Round 9

Round 9 Answer key: Top - art by Ian McQue and Bottom - AI-generated

Round 10

Round 10 Answer key: Left - art by Francine @ Eskwelabs and Right - AI-generated

How many did you get correctly? It’s quite difficult to tell the difference isn’t it? That’s why we go back to the beautiful question: “What makes art…art?”

Reflection questions for you

  • What makes art…art?
  • Who gets to decide this?
“True or false: We are all artists.”

Follow-along activity: Create your own AI-generated art

This is the part where we set aside theory, debates, discussions, and instead just pursue the act of doing. The act of making. Let’s have fun and allow our imagination to run wild!

To create your own AI-generated art, there are two tools you can explore: DALL-E and Midjourney. Both are tools that require text-based prompts to produce images and art. 

For this tutorial, you’ll use Midjourney and you’ll need a Discord account.

Step 1: Go to the Midjourney homepage: and click “Join the Beta.”

Step 2: Accept the invite to the Midjourney Discord server.

Step 3: Go through the Midjourney Discord server onboarding and then when you’re done reading the basics like faq, getting-started, and rules channels, scroll down on the left side bar until you see newcomer rooms like newbies-#. 

Step 4: Click any of those newbie threads. Once inside the thread, type “/imagine” and click the spacebar on your keyboard.

Step 5: Write out the description of what you want your final art piece to look like. This is what you call the “prompt.”

Step 6: Click the enter button on your keyboard and watch as your text-based prompt gets transformed into an image. 

Step 7: Select the version you want if one version particularly speaks to you and you want to refine the image more. V1 = Upper left, V2 = Upper right, V3 = Lower left, V4 = Lower right

Step 8: Once you’re satisfied, upscale the image/version you want as your final piece. U or upscaling in Midjourney means that that image will be enlarged and removed from the grid of four. U1 = Upper left, U2 = Upper right, U3 = Lower left, U4 = Lower right

Voila! The final masterpiece, co-created between you and Midjourney:

Reflection questions for you

  • True or false: We are all artists.
  • How do you explore being an artist in your everyday life?
“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” – Vincent van Gogh.

We hope that by sharing a page from our Eskwelabs Team Journal that you, our Eskweloves, feel our love and care. So much joy and thought went into this blog post, in the same way that our AI & Art Socials with our teammates was also intentional. If you want to hear more about the heart and soul we put into our programs, you can read Data Literacy Skillscourse testimonials here, Data Analytics Bootcamp testimonials here, and Data Science Fellowship testimonials here.