Seniors AI Art Collective

September’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Luc Lalande to support the Seniors AI Art Collective.

“Engaging seniors in the generation of art through artificial intelligence,” explains Luc, “represents a novel approach to addressing some of the most pressing problems facing seniors – social isolation and lack of opportunities to meaningfully participate in community life.”

“The project reimagines the potential of AI art as both a creative and social activity, adapting Pablo Picasso's well-known quote: ‘Every child is an artist; the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up,’ or, in our case, once we grow old.”

“The intention,” Luc continues, “was to use text-to-image AI art generation tools in a social setting, where seniors could express their imagination and memories through ideas, thoughts, and whimsy in a fun and playful environment. These expressions were then transformed into ‘prompts’ creating AI art images that in turn generated much laughter and joy amongst the participating seniors.”

“What we had not anticipated beyond the social value of the project,” says Luc, “was the desire of our seniors to pursue AI art as a ‘collective’ and the development of a calendar project using images generated by them. Now the seniors are working on images for a children’s colouring book!”

To learn more about the project and see some of the images, you can visit Luc’s blog.

Luc is Innovator-in-Residence at the Rideau-Rockliffe Community Resource Centre and former Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Hub at the University of Ottawa.

Funded by Ottawa (September 2023)