When AI will have become so advanced that it triggers runaway growth, we would have reached the inevitable Technological singularity Most experts predict a date around the middle of the century for AI superintelligence to emerge.
Yep, Robots which are smarter than ourselves, self-aware and with an agenda. This might sound pretty scary, but according to our fearless leader Elon Musk, humans merging with machines is the more likely outcome. Here is a look at some artists whose work might give us a glimpse of what life might be like in the singularity.
Computer ‘brains’ are artificial neural networks. Take the Google search engine. To return pages of accurate search results in a few seconds based on algorithmic calculation takes huge computing power. Google based their computer ‘brain’ on an animal’s central nervous system. When fed an image, the Google brain’s first layer of neurons looks at it. This is only the first step in image recognition and is repeated dozens of times. The next layers of neurons attempt to process the image by identifying key features.
Using this multi-layered technique Google’s brain will often map features that are related but not integral to the subject. For example, if you asked Google to recreate an image of a forest it might add animals, birds or fruit in a mosaic pattern between the trunks. Google’s brain is pulling these images from an infinite imagination, a technique called inceptionism. The brain is pushing out its purely mechanical boundaries and creating art. Computer engineers call these inceptional images dreamscapes. In effect the computer brain is dreaming in a way that exceeds the creative powers of the most talented artists. Sometimes these dreams are lossy, in that the data used to create them is compressed with just the important parts included. These computer dreams are like human dreams. They may have the same discontinuities and disruptions in logic.
Artist Joanie Lemercier created her breathtaking volumetric projections using projections and 3d sensors. It might be a unique way for us to access and interact with AI dreams.
While her work bears a resemblance to holograms, she insists they are not because they don’t use a reflecting screen or barrier. Joanie calls her creations No-lograms. She uses super fine particles of water, high pressure gas and the latest gadgetry to create her stunning projections. Her works are amazing ghost-like geometric patterns where nature meets technology in singularity. Lemercier shows how technology can warp our perception of nature and the world around us.
Everyone likes taking selfies. A company called Expressive AI has gone one step further by creating avatars with attitude… well, at least a personality.
What are computer brains without emotion? More machine and less human, that’s for sure. Expressive AI has devised a way to capture an individual’s emotions and project them onto a unique 3D avatar of that individual. Their ‘emotion capture’ procedure uses a shed load of algorithms and more digital SLR cameras than a Beyoncé photoshoot. Facial expressions are captured on camera and mapped with the full range of human emotions. The result is an avatar as human-like as possible, individually expressive with a software personality.
The ability to create art through the power of thought alone would be an achievement most artists could only dream of. But Sydney neuroscientist, Laura Jade, has done exactly that with her Brainlight installation. She uses electroencephalography (EEG) to bring to ‘life’ a large, laser-cut Perspex brain she has sculpted herself.
EEG records the electrical activity of the brain. Laura wears a wireless headset called a Brain Control Interface (BCI). It’s equipped with sensors which pick up the brain’s electrical signals, creating an amazing interactive light display. Her brain sculpture is engraved with neural networks which glow when light passes through them. The BCI receives the user’s thoughts, feelings and expressions via electrical signals in real time and outputs them in the form of light. Spectators are rewarded with a dazzling display of colored, pulsing brainlight, which can be controlled by the user. There is even a feedback loop created by the user’s emotional appreciation of the art formed mere moments ago.
Time and space
Two French artists, Adrien M and Claire B, recently released a video showing off their latest exhibition, XYZT. XYZ in the title refers to the three spatial dimensions, length, height and depth. T refers to time, the fourth dimension and the one that turns this virtual world into one so absorbing to visit. The exhibition consists of a journey through 10 installations which engage visitors and respond to their touch. Stunning images are created in real time as visitors explore a thrilling virtual environment.
You can walk on virtual floors which react to your footsteps, watch virtual letters form chains then break apart. You can walk through a space where you touch algorithmically-generated web strands of light. You can even swirl and caress strings of light particles in a way that would have enthralled Einstein. There’s also a hall of mirrors installation where you can create spinning corkscrew reflections of yourself.
The visitor is in charge, creating visual art in real time by the whim of their movements. Physical modelling technology and creative visual art is in singularity. Here, the visitor to the XYZT exhibition is also the performance artist.
The Art of Plasma is the latest exhibition of neon artworks at the Museum Neon Art (MONA). When an electric voltage passes through an inert gas like neon, it forms a cloud of charged ions and electrons called plasma. The result is a brilliant orange illumination.
Neon has a long history of being used in film-noirish advertising, but it’s also used to make vibrant and beautiful art works. The first neon artworks were created in spheres and cylinders, but today the plasma ‘tubes’ can be any shape of glass container. All kinds of abstract shapes, including skulls, are used to ionize the neon. Many at The Art of Plasma exhibition have a steampunk theme: vintage robots, skeletal hands. The luminous colors and plasma movements are both unreal and primal at the same time.
Looking towards the future
Find all these concepts exciting? Because we sure think so! Come check the best escape room in San Francisco to prepare for the technology singularity! Is your team ready to take on the future? And how will they rise up to the challenge? there’s only one way to find out!