We often forget how much our world and society is dependent on technology and automation, and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already embedded in many aspects of our everyday life and society; from healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education and linguistics to business, law, policing, and more. These invisible, complex systems become more and more rooted in everyday activity; we give them more power and with it more responsibilities, while our trust and dependence on them has become normalised. At the same time – and mostly thanks to how advanced technologies and AI are being presented in popular media – most of us have a false picture of these systems and a limited or skewed understanding as to how they have been transforming society. We tend to anthropomorphise technology, to assign machines human behaviours, personalities, gender, while we often ignore what lies beneath; from how and for whom devices are designed, the conditions under which they are made, labour and conflict minerals to obsolescence, data collection, surveillance, and so on.
Heading towards an automated world, are we becoming accustomed to services, invisible infrastructures and opaque technologies without asking critical questions or discussing the ethical implications of these services? Should we trust companies with our personal data and privacy and how do we know how automated decisions are made– if they are fair or how they affect us? How do machines “learn” and how do they “see” us? These and many more questions we are looking to explore at this year’s Digital Design Weekend programme through interactive installations, participatory activities, workshops, panel discussions and talks.
Over the weekend (Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September) we will be showcasing a huge programme of cutting edge, international projects, including:
Artificially Intelligent, a display exploring our complex relationships with technology and AI, provoking questions about the state of these and our interactions with machines.
ARTificial intelligence FRANK by Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm, which was created using the newest advancements within machine intelligence to provide personal guidance regarding existential dilemmas. Don’t be afraid to approach FRANK. He will be expecting you!
A series of projects and performances which explore and materialise the politics of networked technology and the complex systems that underpin them by Supra Systems Studio.
Embarrassed Robots by Soomi Park, questioning whether emerging intelligent technologies will need to adopt human expressions and emotions in order to integrate better into our lives.
Open Voice Prototypes by Mozilla Open IoT Studio exploring themes of transparency, interoperability and personality when humans talk with physical objects.
The modular system Nectary by Manuel Jimenez Garcia with Nagami, based on three different robotically 3D-printed elements, which can be assembled into a plethora of spaces by following structurally driven combinatorial algorithms.
Two artificial intelligence models in Closed Loop by Jake Elwes, which converse with each other in a never-ending feedback loop, getting lost in their own nuances.
The Glass Room IoT Edition by Tactical Tech and Mozilla. The Glass Room Experience explores the companies and mechanisms that make our everyday technologies as well as connect the Internet of Things (IoT). Join the global conversation about data and privacy.
The Weekend includes many workshops and participatory activities by UnBias, the Network for Social Justice through the Digital Economy, Nye Thompson and many more to engage visitors with issues such as algorithmic bias, trust, fairness, the machine gaze and more!
There is also a programme of talks and panel discussions including:
- This Happened #29, Liable Algorithms with Naziha Mestaoui, Tobias Revell, Alistair McClymont and Dr. John Fass.
- Design in the Age of Artificial Intelligence with Luba Elliott, Chris Luebkeman (ARUP), Daghan Cam (AI Build), Phoenix Perry and Hooman Shayani (Autodesk).
- A conversation between artist Katriona Beales and entrepreneur and founder of Evi, William Tunstall-Pedoe.
- AI and Ethics with Lucy Sollitt, Ramon Amaro (Goldsmiths University), Josh Cowls (Alan Turing Institute) and Tabitha Goldstaub (CognitionX).
- Virtual Futures Salon: Radical Visions with Eduardo Kac.
And there is even more! We are working again with the Austrian Cultural Forum London, Ars Electronica Linz and the Interface Culture Department, University Linz on a series of installations, guided tours and performances over the weekend.
On Sunday, we are celebrating ten years of London Design Festival at the V&A with special events on Exhibition Road. Bringing together events by the Brompton Design District, Imperial College, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A, this fun-filled day of design, workshops and talks will offer something for everyone, and a unique way into the many marvels of Albertopolis.
Visit the Digital Design Weekend page for the full programme. All events are free and drop-in, and available on a first come, first served basis.
The Artificially Intelligent publication, supported by Mozilla and AHRC/University of Glasgow Digital Transformations Theme, and designed by John Philip Sage, will be available online with free copies distributed during the event.
The Digital Design Weekend 2018 and Artificially Intelligent display are supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. With additional support from Mozilla Foundation, Austrian Cultural Forum London, Ars Electronica Linz, British Council, +CODE Electronic Art Festival, the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.