Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence // Art & Tech Days 2018 aftermovie

“Welcome to the training 2038 program. “Please, enter your name.” Everybody bares some kind of
responsibility when developing software,
hardware, systems that are driven well in the context
of Artificial Intelligence by AI’s or iterations and has to be intentful
in what kind of approach or values it’s putting in. Well, that doesn’t depend
on anything about the machine, it just depends on what your conception
of thinking is. Is thinking something that involves
information being processed? Then, ok. The machine can think. Is thinking something that’s unique
to people? Do you define it as that which people do
to processing information? Then, the machines can’t think. So, with thinking we are beginning
to make that conception. Planes fly. Right? We say that planes fly
but submarines don’t swim. Right? So you see that
there is a dichotomy there. On one we’ve allowed the word “fly”
to be used for planes, so, that’s just the property of the word,
so, whether or not machines can make art is just a question of semantics. What does the word
“make art” mean? If we take the painting of a studio
from France, called Obvious, they did a painting that AI coders did and Christie’s sold it
in almost half a million dollars. That is something that
4 years ago could never have happened. Now… If it is a revolution? Is it something that we need
or is good or whatever? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely something that
couldn’t have happened a few years ago. And all the traditional auction places,
as Sotheby’s, Christie’s and so on, understand today
that they need the technology in order to still be relevant,
I would say. So, only in the art point of view,
definitely there is a big revolution because the painters today,
or the artists today, are not specifically the artists
from few years ago. Imagine that you can have a tool,
for example, that allows you to learn more
about your environment. Like, let’s say, you want to move
to some place and you want to learn about
the facilities there and how far is the nearest bus station… These are the things
that can be also useful for the people. So, what we try to do in the lab
is to try to give these tools and being able to process the data
also to “normal” people. We might really skip a time in evolution to the point where
the contemporary world is at the moment. There is a technology which is accessible and there are creative minds which can work with this technology, so, we don’t need all those 30 years
of development, we can just maybe skip it or bring something
which would mean innovation in a global perspective,
not just locally. When we look
at the field of contemporary culture for us, it seems that
the field of new media art brings the most valuable concepts of how communities of the future
could be organized, and that’s why we decided to look
into New Europe through the eyes of art,
technology and science. So, we work with senses
and the microphone set extracts my breath in how… So, my breathing, the intensity
of the physicality, how increases over time. And we started to take sound
from my breath to create light and movement as well,
so, the dynamics of the movement. How can it creates sound and light. So, we looked at this triangle:
light, sound and movement, and we worked with that triangle,
and we tried to keep it quite even. We didn’t want one to dominate the other.
Because in dance… Often the technology supports the dance but it doesn’t work together,
it doesn’t collaborate. So, this triangle…
One can’t exist without the other. Artificial intelligence or technology
is now a two edged sword because everything that we need,
we’ve already invented. We’ve invented the car,
the fire, the wheel, the phone, the movie and so on. But now we are making a newer phone,
a faster car, a car that can drive itself,
but are we happier? No. Every experiment and every study
so far shows that the young generation
is less happy than your generation, and you’re less happy than me
and I’m less happy than my parents. And to me,
whether I’m a neurologist or not, whether I’m happy
is a very important question. Even though we see the machinery
and the AI taking a huge place in our lives, at the end, if something is not ok, or you have to speak with a patient and tell him what is going to be
from now on, maybe his life is in danger
or maybe he just need a treatment, it won’t be a machine,
it will be a doctor, a human. So, I think that one of the things
that are unique in the AI machinery in the medical field
is that there is still place for the human. I think what the AI will do
at the end of the day in each one of the aspects,
is shorten the gap of what I want to do now
and how I can do it in the future. It just makes it a lot easier and quicker. Because the machine learns so quickly and the machine can learn millions
of things that for us, as human beings,
will take I don’t know how long to do. The real innovation and inspiration is when different worlds meet
and it all happens on the edges or on these common platforms. Kranzberg’s law…
He has laws for technology, and one of them is that
you will never be able to fully control the effect of your technology.
So, technology is not good… It’s neither good or bad,
neither neutral. Right? So, you never gonna be able
to understand the full extent of technology when it gets adapted
or maybe steered to some direction and it’s going to be misused. Personally, believing in things
that are able to steer the evolution of society as humans in a better way, in how can we actually affect that
in long term and still having the intent. I think AI could bring us to this kind of special interaction between human
and machine, which is always an obstacle,
because menus and sub-menus, and wrong types of hard drives… One does not work with Mac
and the other… What? How come we have not passed this yet? Why are we stuck in this little futile
attempts of communicating with machines? I think AI could bring us to a place
where we can really integrate with the machine and learn from it
as much as it learns from us and, through that, elevate our society. You close your eyes,
you open your eyes and something new appears. So, it reminds me revolution,
but it might be super fast evolution. We have a lot of data
and we have to learn how to process it like on this more professional level
using different tools, but we also need to learn,
as people, of how not to get too much distracted
by all the opportunities that we have. So, it’s really difficult for us
to deal with it on a day-to-day basis. And some of the people are really scared
that they are going to get distracted and that our culture is going to die out of this information overload. So, what I try to point out is that,
each time in history, when the new media was coming in,
for example, the printing press, the cinema, the theatre,
each time people were afraid. Intellectuals reclaiming
that this is going to kill our culture, yet, we survived and we’ve created
an even better culture. So, I’m quite an optimist in this case that we can use new media and AI to create better art, better culture, and that we can do something good
for the society, too. We don’t need to be afraid.

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