Masters' Talks

Lev Manovich,

In an article about people using AI image synthesis tools, WSJ compared their arrival to another major technological revolution in art – the adoption of photography in the 19th century (8/19/22). New Yorker magazine stated: “How we work — even think — changes when we can instantly command convincing images into existence.” (9/19/22) NYT wrote that “A.I.-based image generators like DALL-E 2, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion have made it possible for anyone to create unique, hyper-realistic images just by typing a few words into a text box.” (10/21/22)


Are we indeed living through a major revolution in visual culture? Is it true that “anybody” can create “unique” images using this technology? In my talk I will critically evaluate some of the claims made about AI Image Synthesis, and suggest alternative ways of understanding it. The talk draws on the latest chapter in the book “Artificial Aesthetics: a Critical Guide to AI, Design and Media” (Manovich and Arielli, 2021-) being published online at

Lev Manovich is a world-renown innovator and top influencer in many fields, including digital art, media theory, digital humanities, and cultural analytics. He is a Presidential Professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a Director of the Cultural Analytics Lab. Manovich was included in the list of “25 People Shaping the Future of Design” and the list of “50 Most Interesting People Building the Future”. He is an author of 15 books that include The Language of New Media described as “the most suggestive and broad-ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.”

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