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Our graphic novels and AI course: responding to your feedback

Wales Millennium Centre champions artists, and we look to nurture and showcase creative talent in Wales through a range of initiatives and programmes. One of these ways is to provide free creative space and training for young people, so they can develop new skills and confidence which will help them thrive in adult life. Our programme offers a wide range of training courses from radio production, film, hip hop, acting, costume making and screenwriting.

Through consultation with young people and creative industries we have found AI and new technologies to be an area of rapid expansion and interest. Responding to this demand, we were recently given the opportunity to run the entry-level AI comic book course as a test with two local creatives, melding their two interests – comic book creation and innovative technology.

The course uses AI as a rough development and drafting tool so participants with a range of skill and ability can develop their techniques of storytelling, enabling them to have a creative outlet whatever their creative skills or access needs. The course focuses on writing, story construction and character development, while they learn through practice how to communicate their ideas and collaborate with other creatives. AI is used to help flesh out those ideas into something tangible to help the young person consider the interplay of visuals, layout and dialogue in their story. The work is not intended to be published in that form, but could be given to a graphic novel artist to further interpret it through own their craft.

In the course we discuss the ethics surrounding generative AI, particularly in relation to copyright and creating original work. We are confident that this is a positive use of a prolific technology that young people are already using to fill in gaps in their ever-developing creative skills, enabling them to express themselves in ways they may not otherwise be able to. We are sorry that the course description did not fully reflect our approach and we are taking steps to rectify this.

Like all organisations, from the creative arts to healthcare, we are navigating our approach to AI, and we’re fully aware of the impact this technology could have in a number of areas of our organisation and the artistic community – both positive and negative. We’re grateful for all the feedback we’ve received over the past few days, which will help inform us as we carefully consider our future approach. We also intend to offer a graphic novel drawing course very soon to give young people the opportunity to develop skills in this very creative field.