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Theater/performance: Prompt Battle

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Do you have what it takes to become a Prompt Designer? Based on the Rap Battle format, Prompt Battle is a game show in which people compete against each other with the performative use of language. AI-supported text-to-image software enables the candidates to generate complex photos, images, and illustrations, seemingly out of thin air, by typing in image descriptions, so-called prompts. The audience will decide who will elicit the most surprising, disturbing or beautiful images from the latent space, and who will walk away carrying the prestigious title Prompt Battle Winner.

The Prompt Battle is a game show format with audience involvement that questions the meaning of prompt engineering in a playful and critical way.
Based on the format of the Rap Battle, eight candidates compete against each other under time pressure on stage in a tournament to solve image and text tasks set for them. The audience decides who has won after each round. The rounds are interrupted by video interludes that illuminate the implications of text-to-image tools from different perspectives.
The aim of the Prompt Battle is to address the numerous controversial questions that tools such as DALL·E, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney raise for professional creatives. Questions about the origin of training data, the value of creative work, the inflation of images, and the intellectual property of the content produced.

Since 2022, rapid technological advances in the field of AI-generated content have raised a series of fundamental questions. For artists and designers, the first question is whether creativity can really be automated, and whether prompt engineering really is the future-proof key capability that some believe it to be. Behind the hype, far-reaching ethical, economic, copyright and aesthetic challenges and contradictions are emerging. The Prompt Battle uses the game show format to address these questions in a playful way by confronting the candidates and the audience with prompt engineering tasks tailored to the occasion.

The original Prompt Battle was developed at HTW Dresden by Sebastian Schmieg, Florian A. Schmidt, Bernadette Geiger, Robert Hellwig, Emily Krause, Levi Stein, Lina Schwarzenberg and Ella Zickerick.

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