Intelligence IO

4 min read

Are we progressing? Are we fulfilling idea(l)s of our ancestors who had dreamt about bright, rectangular cities run and led by fascinating machines? Did they ever consider matching first something on the opposite side of scale − our invisible counterparts, tiniest of all creatures? So simple and logical that they can be seen as a founding element, as the clear common-sense led intelligence. The one without conscience and meaning, purely existence-driven.

A sad 2020 showed so many sums of all our fears. It also emphasised multiplied shortcomings, misconceptions and prejudices, even corruptions and superficialities at highest levels. It undermined our belief in Knowledge, as a humankind and as a civilisation capable of astonishing achievements. Our technology-powered and knowledge-based societies literally collapsed, thanks to something with just a couple of features. We instantly forgot past − days, years, even decades of progress − getting (b)locked by something unseen.

The ultimate goal of artificial intelligence would be to create an all-encompassing means capable of solving any issue and coping with the greatest of all challenges that we’re facing. It was somehow foreseen that AI will represent human+ intelligence. But what if for our world, or for all the worlds that we’re capable of imagining there is a more adequate protagonist, or − better to say − more compatible option? Less destroyer, more upgrader.

Our AI Lab has been growing yet we were forced to halt its progress and reconsider ourselves. In a globalised world, even a tiny, neglected subject from a remote market booth may become a prophet of a new paradigm, or a media star. Therefore, we need to be humans more and to deploy all our knowledge and imagination. The AI Lab is fully open in 2020 as we can’t offer anything determining and closing. No protocols, just collaboration and solidarity.

Together with partners in Trieste (EuroScience Open Forum − ESOF) and Linz (Festival Ars Electronica), the fifth art+science edition is trying to tackle, analyse and discuss a very unique moment of our existence. Our systems of belief are hacked by a clearly alternative way of thinking and better applied intelligence. That intelligence is binary, and it has only positive and negative solutions. Not to exist isn’t really an option and we should try to observe ourselves through that principle.

By means of limitless artistic creativity, firm scientific foundation and advanced technologies embodied through AI systems, art+science lab is more of a sequence in time than a firm, compact event. Its content is therefore presented in numerous ways and − on the safe side − virtually. This, however, leads to an existential question − how to treat digital content which obtained its physical representation only for being re-transferred to a virtual realm? In a loop that may announce new modes of (co)existence, we shall consult the classic − (being) replicant or not? Exist or not? IO

AUTHOR: Dobrivoje Lale Erić