Inspired by Benj Edwards’ post on Ars Technica this morning, I wanted to try out the latest version of DALL-E that’s integrated into ChatGPT 4 Turbo™, to see what it could create to visualize potential future learning spaces.

I started off with a basic “Create an image of a video game depicting students exploring classrooms and informal learning spaces. Cinematic, 8K, studio lighting.”

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of a video game depicting students exploring classrooms

Interesting. Chalkboards, but sure. Doesn’t look very video-game-y, though. “make a version of that image that’s pixellated as if rendered by an Amiga 1000.”

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of a video game depicting students exploring classrooms, as rendered by an Amiga 1000

The same basic image, in a completely different style. Interesting.

“create an image of what an active learning classroom might look like in the year 2123, with students and instructors working together. Pixellated as if rendered by an Amiga 1000, in 8K.”

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of a video game depicting students exploring classrooms in the year 2123, as rendered by an Amiga 1000

OK. Maybe the “Amiga 1000” bit is getting in the way. “make a version of that image that is photorealistic, cinematic, studio lighting, 8K.”

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of an active learning classroom in the year 2123

I then asked it to create a 30 second animation of that, to show movement in the space. It can’t do animations (yet).

Shifting gears a bit, what about zooming out to the campus level?

“Create an image of what the University of Calgary campus will look like in the year 2123. Photorealistic, cinematic, 8K.”

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of what the University of Calgary might look like in the year 2123

Interesting. Not sure it knows what UCalgary looks like now, but sure. A futuristic university campus. How about something specific? “What will the Taylor Institute for Teaching & Learning at the University of Calgary look like in 2123? Photorealistic, cinematic, 8K.”

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of what the Taylor Institute might look like in the year 2123

Not sure if those are escalators or slides. The future! I was sharing some of these in our team Teams chat, and Anna commented on how DALL-E is creating futuristic classrooms that involve students sitting in rows facing an instructor. Yup. I asked it to “Create an image of a lecture hall that seats 500 students in the year 2123. Include audiovisual technologies. Photorealistic, cinematic, 8K.”

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of what the a large lecture theatre might look like in the year 2123

And what about me? What would D’Arcy Norman look like in these spaces in the year 2123? (aside from the fact that I’ll be long gone by then). I asked it to create an image of me, but it refuses to create images of specific people - but it could create one inspired by what it knows of me. Cool. Do that.

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

an image of what D’Arcy Norman might look like in the year 2123

I mean. “D’Arcy” is not a gender-specific name. I know - elementary school was fun for me. I said to create a version of that image, but with a 50-something dude that kind of has my features.

🤖 - AI-Generated Content via DALL-E

another image of what D’Arcy Norman might look like in the year 2123

Anyway. Not sure what to do with all of that. It’s impressive how far DALL-E has come. Aside from the spectres in the lecture hall image, everything looks mostly realistic and would be usable in presentations or as discussion prompts.