HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY: The Science Gallery Exhibition

‘In an automated world, is it nearly time to put humans out to pasture?’

This is the question posed by HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY, the latest exhibition in the Science Gallery.

Have you ever thought about automating tasks you have no interest in? As technology becomes more advanced and work can be performed by computers, humans are largely comfortable with AI taking on repetitive, simple tasks. But are we as open to the idea of AI creating art and shaping culture? Or chatting with us through a dating application like Tinder?

In HUMANS NEED NOT APPLY, scientists and artists join forces to deliver an exhibition that sparks conversation around the role AI is playing in our modern lives and what the future potentially holds. Take a journey around the exhibition and you’ll discover some inspiration to help you delve deeper into the opportunities presented by technology. Read on to find out more about some of our favourite exhibits.

Lady Chatterley’s Tinderbot

In an age where swiping left has become a commonplace action in the dating world, Libby Heaney examines just how far love has evolved in the post-digital age. Fusing classic literature and cutting-edge tech, Heaney has created an AI that communicates with Tinder users using only lines from D.H. Lawrence’s 1929 novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

The installation features the often hilarious results of these conversations and participants can swipe right or left on the screen to follow positive or negative outcomes based on the AI’s sentiment analysis algorithm.

Hacker Ross Goodwin arrived at the exhibition with a camera that spits out poetry instead of imagery. Aesthetically, it looks like an old-school polaroid camera and visitors are welcome to hold the camera, glance through the viewfinder and snap an image of their surroundings. Instantly, a textual representation of the image is dispensed, redefining the photographic experience as we know it. Goodwin explains that he sees the camera itself as the art form, not the poetry it produces.

Speaking about the design of the camera, Goodwin remarks: “My aim was to suggest that AI and machine intelligence shouldn’t be human shaped. We’ve been brainwashed by all the fiction we have absorbed about AI to believe that it will be human-shaped. But in reality, when you’re making machine intelligence, everything in its form is a design decision. The kind of robots you are used to seeing in movies are entertaining but why would anyone build a robot like that? The more plausible design is something functional and useful that doesn’t look human – because it’s not.”

Tickle Salon

Our relationship with technology is often invisible, yet it shapes us in many ways. Tickle Salon investigates the idea of tactile stimuli and whether it’s possible to generate sensations through artificial means. The exhibition by Amsterdam-based artists Driessens and Verstappen invite participants to undress and lie down on a bed to experience an adaptive automated caress.

As a soft brush moves around the body of the visitor, it uses trial and error to adapt itself to the shape of the human body. Becoming more refined along its journey, the robot delivers direct and lively sensations.

ad infinitum

When we use technology like our phone or a laptop, we’re accustomed to being the one in charge of the interaction. Pedro Lopes’s ad infinitum centres on a parasitical energy that traps the user and challenges that order.

Lopes, who is a computer scientist and artist, explains his work: “The idea here is to criticise the notion that there is always a human on the top of every interface we have today. With ad infinitum, you are no longer the user, you are being used by the machine.”

It’s a strange feeling placing your arm in this installation that feeds off human energy. It stimulates your muscles electrically, forcing you to move the limb against your will. And the only way to free yourself? Convince another visitor to sit opposite you and take your place.

Interested in Finding Out More?

We’d recommend paying a visit to this fascinating free exhibition to experience our intricate relationships with technology in a new way.

Humans Need Not Apply is currently running in The Science Gallery Dublin until the 21st May 2017. Come and explore it to decide for yourself the impact that artificial intelligence is having on society.

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