Everybody is talking about Artificial Intelligence, but what is it exactly? Is it the next step in the evolution of human consciousness or just a marketing term big corporations use to brand their software for automated statistics? In what way do AI technologies impact contemporary society, culture and media, intimate relations and the ones of production? How can artists, designers, writers, makers, directors, and the rest of us appropriate these technologies, use them creatively and critically?
When he was beaten by the Deep Blue, G. Kasparov came up with the concept of Centaur Chess: a chess variety in which a human and a computer play against another human-computer pair. Humans use computers to explore possible moves, but make final decisions themselves. This is an example of an AI that, instead of ruining human creativity, ends up enhancing it. I believe a similar approach is possible in the domain of art and culture. Robots mights help creatives to invent new kinds of creative and subversive practices.
The workshop is dedicated to demystifying, democratizing, explaining, and subverting the AI paradigm, presenting new conceptual possibilities and programming tools for exploration and creation of a new media forms. We might call them Centaur Art.
Artists, writers, and technologists whose work we mention during the workshop include T. Paglen, J. Bridle, M. Akten, A. Greenfield, Y. Katz, V. Joler, and many others.
Workshop attendants are not expected to have any prior programming knowledge (although it won’t hurt if they do). An ideal group would be comprised of attendants with diverse background, ranging from engineers, scientists, designers, and philosophers to artisans and workers.