AI everywhere?

Get past the hype and get hands on with generative AI in the 2024 DLINQ Digital Detox.

This Detox will guide you through activities that help you explore and understand generative AI tools. You’ll be encouraged to try the activities, reflect on them, share what you did with others, and comment on others’ work.

We recommend going through the activities in order, starting with Activity 1: It’s not magic, it’s math.


An AI-generated 50s comic-book-style robot dressed like a magician holds a wand.

It’s not magic, it’s math

We will start our exploration of generative AI at the beginning…that is, the beginning of an interaction with a generative AI tool. The prompt. Prompt engineering–defined as “the process of structuring text that can be interpreted and understood by a generative AI model”--rose to prominence in 2023 as humans grappled . . .

An AI-generated 50s-style comic-book robot holds a girl who is hugging it.

It’s not friendship, it’s programming

Last summer, I (Amy) read Kazuo Ishiguro’s book Klara and the Sun, which tells the story of an AI companion, Klara, who becomes the companion of a young woman who is gravely ill. Told from Klara’s perspective, the book shows how an AI being might be capable of human imitation . . .

An AI-generated image of a 50s-style comicbook robot painting ones and zeroes.

It’s not art, it’s data

Up to this point in the Digital Detox, we’ve been exploring text-based generative AI tools. In today’s activity, we’ll be working with image-generating AI tools. If you’ve heard about these tools in the news, you’ve likely heard about their tendency to generate weird images (“this reindeer has five legs!” or “ . . .

An AI-generated comic book image of a robot singing into a microphone.

It’s not live, it’s Memorex AI

This week’s activity is inspired in part by a creepy/creeping thought I (Amy) had over the winter break last year. My car radio dial landed on a station playing the Delilah show, a call-in song request show that has been on the air almost non-stop for, get this, nearly 40 years. As I listened to the show—which I had done periodically since I was a teenager–I wondered how much longer Delilah . . .

An AI-generated comic book image of a robot shouting a word that looks like "Lies!" while throwing confetti.

It’s not reality, it’s fiction

In early 2023, social media feeds were afire with an image of Pope Francis wearing a boss puffy white coat. The image’s virality was quickly met with an equally-viral response that the Pope picture was AI-generated by a tool called Midjourney. Though the image’s debunking happened quickly and, one could argue, the h . . .

An AI-generated comic book image of a robot saying "Data!" while holding a laptop. It looks like it's selling something.

It’s not all-knowing, it’s biased

“Our terms have changed. Click here to accept our new Terms of Service.” Have you noticed that, every once in a while, a bunch of technology companies change their Terms of Service (ToS) at the same time? That you start getting emails or pop-ups on your usual websites or social media sites telling you to accept the new terms? Ever wonder what that’s about? Sometimes the mass Terms chan . . .