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Thought-provoking latest exhibition suggests the general public should help shape the long run of AI

Humans have made tools for at the least 2.6 million years. And we’ve all the time been curious, not only copying others but searching for to know how their tools work, why and what else might be done with them. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a Twenty first-century tool, similiar to the breakthrough that rocks were to our Stone Age ancestors. Only AI is advancing much faster.

Those who learn to harness it’ll have opportunities to thrive, while those that don’t are prone to be left behind. AI evokes mixed feelings. There’s excitement about its potential, but in addition fear of the destructive uses it is likely to be harnessed for.

To ensure a superb future with AI, it’s essential that appropriate regulation is introduced. And the general public should be fully involved in decisions around its development and implementation – as a brand new exhibition at King’s College London’s Science Gallery explores.

Created in collaboration with cultural programme Future Everything, the exhibition presents serious questions on AI in a playful manner. According to Irini Papadimitriou, Future Everything’s creative director, certainly one of those key questions, especially regarding AI’s use in healthcare, is: “What is the bridge between research and consumers?”

The exhibition prompts people to contemplate the query in its title (AI: Who’s Looking After Me?) and to contribute to shaping AI collectively.

Siddharth Khajuria, director of Science Gallery London, told me: “We attempt to nurture space for collaborations between unlikely communities of scientists, artists, patients, technologists and lots of others, trusting that the ‘knowledge’ they produce … wouldn’t have come from any single perspective.”

What to expect on the exhibition

The exhibition is meant to be an eyeopener about AI, through its showcasing of surprising applications of the technology. These applications are presented through installations that encourage contemplation and curiosity.

Visitors are welcomed by Sprout – a soft, huggable robot inspired by nature. Sprout is designed to reply to human behaviour through movement and color changes. Another exhibit appealing to the emotions is Looking For Love, a playful web café-style chat experience, where visitors can try and teach the machine about love.

The Sprout installation on the London Science Gallery.
George Torode

The installations Heartificial Intelligence, How Loud Is Too Loud? and Does AI Care? explore using AI in healthcare and the way the tool could support medical professionals, somewhat than replace them.

Several installations explore the social interactions between people and AI. The Future is Here! raises awareness of how critical human labour is for tagging data sets, as this makes supervised machine learning possible. What is Essence? showcases how a machine “sees” humans, via AI-generated images of individuals. It draws attention to potential algorithmic bias.

Sentient Beings reflects on our future interactions with AI assistants while Autonomous Trap 001 explores the potential of human-machine collaboration and freeing AI from large corporations. Newly Forgotten Technologies meanwhile prompts reflection on the environmental impact of smart devices.

Pens waiting to be filled with ink.

Sarah Selby’s Between the Lines installation.
George Torode

Between the Lines is an unusual artwork. It got here about following conversations with international students who were being reported to the Home Office by their universities for not following strict rules through the COVID-19 pandemic.

It draws attention to the disconnect between people and people who make decisions about them. Testimonies of those detained persons are encoded into synthetic DNA, which is made into ink and inserted into pens to be distributed to UK immigration control.

Cat Royale by Blast Theory explores a future wherein AI is more prevalent in the house, with roles resembling caring for cats.

A video installation shows three cats living – apparently comfortably – in an environment with an AI-enabled robotic arm. The cats initially ignore the robot arm, but over time they start to play with it. The robot learns tips on how to entertain the person cats in line with their preferences.

Day certainly one of Cat Royale by Blast Theory.

The artist, Matt Adams, told me that with regards to AI, “trust and lack of trust exist at the identical time”. Visitors are invited to reflect on the implications of employing a robot cat sitter and ultimately resolve whether or not they would trust a robot with their very own pet.

The AI: Who’s Looking After Me exhibition also includes an area with books, toolkits and activities. It is accompanied by a programme of talks, tours, workshops and performances that are value planning a visit around. The Science Gallery is inviting the general public to assist shape the ways AI might in the future permeate our day-to-day lives.


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