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Exhibition: IAMAI. Bots and other Humanoids

Installation Shot  IAMAI. Bots and other Humanoids,  ProjektLinks/Galerie DuflonRacz, Photo: Ula Lucińska & Michał Knychaus

Installation Shot IAMAI. Bots and other Humanoids, ProjektLinks/Galerie DuflonRacz, Photo: Ula Lucińska & Michał Knychaus

IAMAI. Bots and other Humanoids

Oct 13 to Nov 11, 2017, Gallery DuflonRacz, Bern

Inside Job (Ula Lucińska & Michał Knychaus), Ernestyna Orlowska and Vinzenz Meyner

The exhibition IAMAI. Bots and other Humanoids looks to a future, in which non-human intelligence has acquired previously specifically human abilities such as empathy, humor, and creativity. It is a future in which humanoids stand alongside us as equal companions, and intelligent programs engage in cultural labor, drawing or writing poetry for us. 

Alan Turing believed that by the early 21st Century, computer programs would be impossible to differentiate from humans in exchanges without physical contact. Today, it is disputed whether any computer has truly passed the Turing Test. However, so called narrow AI, in the form of chatbots, search engines and face recognition software, has established itself in all areas of everyday life. These programs are designed for the completion of particular tasks. They are able to improve and refine their abilities by learning through exposure to very large amounts of data.

This contemporary reality invites speculation on a broad range of future scenarios: on the one hand, there is the theory of technological singularity, which claims that in the not too far future, artificial intelligence will surpass that of humans. Post- and transhumanists regard this potential development positively. They believe in a harmonious, complementary co-existence of human and non-human intelligences. The dystopian version of this theory has been illustrated in countless works of science fiction since the 1980s (and even before).

By contrast, John Searl’s thought experiment of the “Chinese room” attempts to disprove that computers are capable of intentionality. The experiment rests on the following analogy: with the appropriate instructions, a non-Chinese speaking human being can decipher Chinese characters, but will not understand their meaning. In the same manner, a machine can solve certain problems, but will do so according to syntactic rules, lacking any semantic understanding. 

AI may have wide-ranging consequences for the way human societies are organized: the relatively new philosophical trend of accelerationism, for example, argues that the automatization of all aspects of human life requires a radical revision of economic structures. An example of such radical change is questioning the wage economy, replacing it with ideas such as the global basic income.

The exhibition IAMAI. Bots and other Humanoids examines how artists cooperate with contemporary forms of artificial intelligence. The new pieces shown here operate at the interface of the human-machine relationship. Artistic processes were assigned to algorithms; the result is thus a collaboration of humans and adaptive, teachable computer systems.

One Day Festival: 
Nov 11, 2017, Impact Hub Bern


2pm/ Lecture: Fifty years of artistic run-in with AI
Boris Magrini /HeK, Basel

3pm/ Lecture: AI Blackboxing
Adrian Demleitner & Julia Geiser/ ckster Festival, Bern 

4pm/ Screening Performance: Agents of Change
Lea Schaffner, Maria-Cecilia Quadri & Philip Ullrich/ Raum::Station, Zürich

6pm/Lecture Performance and Finissage: Andrea Protokoll
Vinzenz Meyner

8pm/ Performance: FRUITS (Stand-Up Solo Version)
Ernestyna Orlowska

8:30pm/Talk: How Artists make productive use of Bots and AI today
Luba Elliott / Creative AI, London moderated by Roland Fischer / Solutionsbüro

9:30pm/Performance with live visuals: Playground
Marion Zurbach, Vittorio Bertolli, Matteo Taramelli & Henrry Bonnet / Unplush

This project was supported by Kultur Stadt Bern, Kultur Kanton Bern, Pro Helvetia, Brugergemeinde Bern, Ernst und Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung und Kilchenmann AG