Simple AI-Generated Imagery Programs

Cross-posted from my blog at


Artificial intelligence scares some people. When AI takes over human roles and takes the form of a human, that is quite scary. AI writing essays scares teachers and pleases students. It also scares people whose income comes from writing. None of us want to be replaced by a machine.

I have found that AI used to create images seems to be less scary. Oh sure, if I were a graphic designer, artist, or photographer, I would be frightened that my career could be replaced by AI. And you have heard the horror stories about "deep fakes" of photos and videos. But I have been playing with a few simple programs for generating images using AI. These are all free - for now. I do some drawing, painting, and photography myself with my hands, but I would not rate them as professional and this AI method is just so easy. 

One of the first things I tried was Microsoft Bing  These programs are very easy to use. You input text - a prompt - describing what you want to see created. The more detailed the prompt, the more likely it is that you will get a result that matches the one in your imagination. Beyond that, you don't have a lot of control. You can't choose colors for small parts of the image but you can describe a style (like a Renaissance painting, or anime, etc.) and add details.

For example, you could ask for an illustration of a woman. That is very broad. Let's try again - an Asian woman on a computer monitor. How about a man creating an image of an Asian woman using his phone and Bing and projecting it on a monitor. Okay, just as a test of its capabilities, let's add a small teddy bear.

Here is the result:

Search and you'll find lots of these programs. is another one. I also liked experimenting with I went down a similar path asking variations on a woman standing by a wall, sitting by a lake, etc. 

I'll keep posting things I create on this site and I will be using them for a lot of my posts online.

I would like to see more control over these simple tools - such as being able to start with a photo of my own - and they are not perfect in following prompts. Did you notice that in the image at the top, Bing misspelled Bing?

4 variations on a monochrome man walking in the woods prompt

Can Bloom's Taxonomy Teach Us Anything About AI?

spiral model


When I was studying to be a secondary school teacher, Bloom’s Taxonomy often came up in my classes as a way to do lesson planning and a way to assess learners. Recently, there have been several revisions to its pyramid stack. An article on suggests a spiral might be better, particularly if you want to use it as a lens to view AI.

The author, Vriti Saraf, opines that the most important potential of AI isn’t to enhance human productivity, it’s to enhance and support human thinking, and that looking at AI’s capabilities through the lens of Bloom’s Taxonomy showcases the possible interplay of humans and machines.

It is an interesting idea. Take a look.



Rethinking Accessible Courses

accessibilty word cloudWhen I was working full-time as an instructional designer, I became very concerned with making courses (especially online courses) accessible. In the early days of this century, very often the college I worked at was quite focused on making accommodations for students with special needs. That was a quick fix but not a sustainable approach.

Retrofitting online courses became part of my department's purview. Our instructional design thinking believed that access(ible) are more than making accommodations. We knew that courses that were accessible for students who had particular needs were also courses that ate probably more accessible for all the other students too. There were so many small examples of things we did. It turned out to be useful to all the students in the course.

One semester now 20 years ago, I decided to provide audio files of my short online lectures and of explanatory talk about some of the more complicated assignments. Some students told me that they would listen to them while driving in the car, or commuting on the train, or on their walks with their dogs. Most of these audio files were taken from videos that I had made often with accompanying PowerPoint slides. So the visual was lost but we all know that a good number of PowerPoint slides used for lecture or text, so not all of the visual content was needed.

The fact that students use them this way, not only convinced me to continue the practice but made me rethink what I was putting in those slides. Perhaps the truly visual presentations needed to be truly visual and not offered as audio files so that students would have to sit down and view the video version. I was rethinking my use of visuals overall.



scootersMicromobility refers to a range of small, lightweight vehicles operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h (15 mph) and driven by users personally. Micromobility devices include bicycles, e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, shared bicycle fleets, and electric pedal-assisted (pedelec) bicycles, and even hoverboards. The term "micromobility" was originally coined by Horace Dediu in 2017.

There are benefits and challenges for individuals using this type of transportation, including lower initial cost, maintenance, fuel, and parking costs in many instances. The cost for some of those options can even be zero, as with fuel for a traditional bicycle or scooter.

There are also benefits and concerns for communities. Particularly in the ever-evolving landscape of urban transportation, micromobility solutions are revolutionizing the way people commute, reducing congestion, improving air quality and redefining urban mobility.

Some of these modes are electric, some are traditional, such as bicycles, scooters, and skateboards, and some are hybrid. The range of micromobility vehicles offers compact, eco-friendly and convenient options for short-distance travel. By reducing congestion, decreasing carbon emissions and promoting active lifestyles, micromobility has the potential to positively impact urban environments.

One safety concern, particularly in urban areas, is how these vehicles will interact with pedestrains and traditional larger vehicles on roadways.

For more on this topic, see


micromobility group