Speculative AI | Birk Schmithüsen

2 min read

The SpeculativeAI series consists of two aesthetic experiments. Their goal is to make the processes of artificial neural networks perceptible to humans through audiovisual translation. The work Exp. #2 (conversation) questions an AI’s capacity for empathy and purpose while communicating with a second AI. Both systems are embodied by a light or sound object and can receive the messages of the other. The light object can hear and create images. The sound object can see and play sounds.

In order to have a meaningful conversation, both systems produce empathic behaviour by understanding the received messages and giving an intentional response. Both objects are trained with associations between certain visual shapes and corresponding sounds. When one speaks, the other listens and vice versa. The response is generated by a mixture of what the entity has understood and its own intention. This results in an ever-changing audiovisual conversation that is neither random nor predictable.

Conceptual support: 

AI Center (Gijon/Oviedo/Spain)

3D calibration: Felix Bonowski

Coding: Marcus Ding

Realised at: LABoral(Spain)

Support: EMARE,Culture Program 

Creative Europe, ArtesMobiles

Birk Schmithüsen is a media artist based in Leipzig, Germany. His work explores emerging technologies that affect our everyday lives. In aesthetic experiments, Birk explores non-perceptible, abstract concepts such as AI, Machine Learning and BigData as artistic media. By creating dynamic systems with life-like behavior, he opens up new perspectives on current topics of digitalisation. His works are shown at key media art festivals in France, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Germany.

Presentation of this work at the art+science 2021 exhibition was supported by EMAP