The human dream of creation
The main ethical struggle in human dealings with technology has its roots in the very core of our approach towards the creation of otherness. The human dream of creating a higher level of intelligence and higher way of being is shattered by a simultaneous eagerness to create only in the manner of control and exploitation. Technology serves to rule the all too human world, but then again, it could be the path to something inhuman, higher, better, artificial. From this point of view, the biggest danger for artificial intelligence is the chance that it will most likely be created and “brought to life” by average humans. Average humans whose main goal is how to use it (as has been the case with the abuse of… well, of everything on planet Earth, so far).
The ethical restraints surrounding stem cells replication, genetic manipulations, or eugenics could be reduced to a fear of harming other beings. We want to play gods and create new life. Yet, we do not want to face the fact that we might cause pain through giving life (which is inevitable). We don’t want to take responsibility. This the basic reason why we lay down ethical rules against some procedures or techniques: to ensure that we do not cause pain for which we would be responsible.
After all, what we face in medicine, synthetic biology, and genetics nowadays is a codex of rules so tight that it often prevents effective help, ground-breaking research, and innovation. The vicious circle of protection often causes pain in trying to prevent it.
Towards artificial intelligence
How does this work in the case of artificial intelligence? Because where a rule exists, there will always be someone keen to break it – if only for the sake of curiosity. What if we let the artist show us? What does it mean to create an artificial existence based on an extrusion of bacteria? What if the artist forces the bacteria to live and grow only for the purpose of feeding his digital intelligence simulation (with data)? What if he creates an artificial existence only to let it bitterly wither away in the solitude of a breakdown in communication? Would you be curious to experience it? Would like to talk with it, or just about it?
More information is available here.
Guests and participants
Exhibiting artist: Ivor Diosi
Committee members: Anna Dumitriu (UK, The University of Oxford), Bobbie Farsides (UK, Brighton and Sussex Medical School), Claudia Lastra (UK, The Arts Catalyst), Pavel Stopka (CZ, Charles University Prague)
Participants of the panel: Pavel Smetana (CIANT), Prokop Bartoníček (CZ, Ex Post), Annick Bureaud (FR, Leonardo OLATS), Aleksander Väljamäe (University of Talinn), Marc Boonstra (NL, Waag Society), Espen Gangvig (NOR, TEKS)
Host: Ondřej Cakl (CIANT)
Ethical Discussion (artist not present)
Drinks and Networking (artist can return)
Wrap Up: Artist is told of the remarks and suggestions of committee
Artist briefly replies
Audience, ethics committee and audience respond