What do fiber art and Artificial Intelligence have in common? More than many people—including most computer scientists—realize. String, the earliest fiber technology, is 50,000 years old, and fiber has informed myriad technologies since, especially digital computing.
Looking toward our digital future, we will use case studies of our own experiences, primarily in quilting and crochet, to address the potentials and limitations of the impact of Generative AI with large language models (LLMs) on fiber arts design and production.
Generative AI can produce instructions and predict outcomes, but unlike humans, it cannot react, reason, decide, and recover. The knowledge sharing of craft circles and the embodied comprehension of physical making—vital to working with that finicky medium of fiber—could inform the training that goes into the creation of AI.
Generative AI is, however, already in our world, and like its revolutionary predecessor, the Jacquard Loom, Generative AI has the potential to be used in either ethical or exploitative ways, and we need to work together and use our fiber knowledge to ensure positive human outcomes.
Textile Talks features weekly presentations and panel discussions from the International Quilt Museum, Quilt Alliance, Studio Art Quilt Associates, and Surface Design Association. The programs are held online at 2 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Pacific) each Wednesday.
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