Software Development
AI / Arts / Delaware / Events

These Wilmington creatives don’t fear AI

Entrepreneurs Linda Watson and Marcus Smith are celebrating AI and Black History Month with an exhibition at the Emerging Enterprise Center.

AI art by Linda Watson (left), with Marcus Smith. (Photo by Holly Quinn)
Editor’s note: This story first appeared as a newsletter alongside a roundup of Technical.ly’s best reporting from the week, job openings and more. Subscribe here to get updates on Delaware tech, business and innovation news in your inbox on Thursdays.
Everything changed on Dec. 23. That was the day Linda Watson and Marcus Smith, two entrepreneurs working out of the Emerging Enterprise Center in Wilmington, realized the potential of AI.

“It was life changing for us,” Watson, who is the founder of MADO, a creative digital agency in Wilmington, told Technical.ly. “Marcus discovered ChatGPT. … He was so excited about it,  saying that he had to share it, and that’s how him and I bonded. Then I discovered [AI art creation tool] Midjourney and told him about it.”

Soon they were teaching themselves prompt engineering and using AI as part of their creative processes, even as other creatives have spurned the technology.

“What we figured out was that there are so many designers and creatives that are saying that this art is going to replace us,” said Smith, founder of the early-stage AR startup Moooves. “In reality, people that use the software understand that it’s more of a supplement for creators.”

To showcase what AI can do for entrepreneurs and creatives while celebrating Black History Month, Watson and Smith are putting on an interactive event called “The Art of AI: Honoring Black Excellence” at the EEC on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Linda Watson and Marcus Smith

AI art prompted by Linda Watson. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Attendees will get a hands-on experience from the minute they enter the exhibition room. They can start by scanning QR codes to create a wallet for their AI creations and to join the Moooves Discord. There, right on their phones, they can use Midjourney to create images and, if they choose, turn one into an NFT, or nonfungible token.

The exhibit includes AI art created by Watson using the prompt engineering skills she’s developed. Her prompts range from simple (“black boombox face-s 750-q 2”) to paragraph-length combinations of words and numbers that is more like code than English.

The artwork celebrates elements of Black American culture, from HBCUs to hip hop. It can be purchased in its physical printed-out form, including the NFTs, which buyers are free to keep, sell or trade.

One striking part of the exhibition is a video that includes a ChatGPT-created animation of Harriet Tubman.

“Let us embrace this experience, for it will indeed be life changing,” the Tubman AI says. “As we walk through the exhibit, let us reflect on our history, celebrate our present, and imagine the future that we can create together.”

Looking to the future and how artificial intelligence can shape it is, in fact, one of the goals of the exhibit, with its interactive aspects showing that AI is increasingly accessible to creatives and entrepreneurs.

Watson plans to start hosting prompt engineering workshops at the EEC to help other entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs incorporate the technology into their work. That series kicks off with a March 8 follow up to the exhibit where attendees will learn the basics of prompt engineering for ChatGPT.

“Your help is here,” Watson said. “If you’re a graphic designer and you’re concerned about AI, don’t be, because your help is now here.”

The Feb. 28 event is free with registration.

Before you go...

Please consider supporting Technical.ly to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, Technical.ly has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
The journalism fund Preferred partners Our services
Engagement

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!

Trending

9 don't-miss events for technologists and entrepreneurs this July

Top 3 vital trends founders should know before pitching investors in 2024

An OpenAI advisor wants to help tech leaders embrace the humanities

HouseCall VR pivots from the metaverse into the doctor’s office

Technically Media