The exhibition's story will begin in a time when AI was but a glimmer in the eyes of the most imaginative minds, when folklore and horror shaped our imagining of the inanimate brought to life. From the Jewish story of the golem to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we will be introduced to the history of our relationship with the extra-human. Expect to be greeted by an eerie sound installation from Scottish musician and DJ Kode9, who has composed an ‘audio essay’ touching on these ambiguous origins.
The exhibition will also examine the progress of AI, from its roots in our imagination to its rapid development over the last century. AI learns; it adapts, through trial and error, just as we do from the moment we are born. More than this, AI can now outmanoeuvre the human brain. In 2016, a computer named AlphaGo became the first to defeat a professional player at a complex strategy game called Go. It was a seminal moment in artificial learning.
Co(AI)xistence, Justine Emard, 2017, video installation with Mirai Moriyama & Alter (developed by Ishiguro lab, Osaka University and Ikegami Lab, Tokyo University) © Justine Emard / Adagp, Paris 2018
Visitors will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the technology on show by contributing to computer-driven art and poetry projects. There will also be the chance to teach avatars to dance and to build a Lego city. And expect mind-boggling examples of technology and feats of science that sound too fantastical to be true. To mark the 20th anniversary of their album Mezzanine, Massive Attack have encoded the tracks in strands of synthetic DNA contained within spray-paint cans.
The exhibition will also highlight the limits of AI. Far from being a neutral entity, computers learn our biases. Joy Buolamwini, a scientist, activist and founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, has uncovered some uncomfortable truths. She found that facial analysis technology from the leading tech companies perform better when presented with white males. The same software struggled to identify women and was particularly inefficient at recognising black woman. Buolamwini’s spoken-word piece AI, Ain’t I a Woman highlights these issues.
This exhibition promises plenty of fun, too. Teamlab’s What a Loving, and Beautiful World, an interactive installation that reacts to the movements of visitors, will go on display in the Barbican's studio theatre, The Pit. Teamlab specialises in creating heightened images of nature and its algorithms adapt to every individual movement, meaning that no two experiences will be the same.
AI: More than Human promises to be fascinating and thought-provoking, an exhibition with something for everyone, not just tech geeks. Expect to come away with a new take on the technology in your life and what the future holds in store.
|What||AI: More than Human, Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
16 May 19 – 26 Aug 19, Saturday – Wednesday 10am – 6pm, Thursday – Friday, 10am – 9pm
|Website||Click here for more information|