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lance weller

An art professor says AI is the future. It's the students who need convincing

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Lance Weiler is preparing his students at Columbia University for the unknown. “What I’m going to show you might disturb you,” he warned the class in January, at the beginning of his graduate course on digital storytelling.

A filmmaker who made his reputation on the frontiers of entertainment technology by inventing a popular augmented reality game around his film, “Head Trauma,” Weiler parlayed his experiments into a job at the School of the Arts, where he shows how computers might become creative partners instead of professional dead ends. His classes have combined augmented reality with Edgar Allan Poe, virtual reality with Sherlock Holmes and machine learning with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Pic: Lance Weiler, an AI convert who runs the Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, speaks to his students at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center in New York, March 20, 2023. His art students at Columbia University are debating the creative value of ChatGPT and Midjourney. Powerful tools or a crutch? (Timothy O'Connell/The New York Times)

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