Endless Evolutions: can AI create new species? 

Barbican Centre

Explore the future of our species, the creation of new species and how our world is in endless evolution through artificial intelligence. 

Exploring 'Endless Evolutions'
This final section of the Barbican exhibition AI: More than Human looks at the future of our species and also envisions the creation of a new species, reflecting on the laws of ‘nature’ and how artificial forms of life fit into this. A newly commissioned set of interviews will discuss themes of the future through the eyes of visionary thinkers.

As AI permeates our lives, it merges with other scientific disciplines and begins to change our idea of the ‘natural’.

While AI emulates the behaviour of the brain, the related research area of artificial life (A-Life) works with a much wider set of natural processes, including human and animal biology, and environmental science.

This gives us the potential to improve our bodies, eradicate illnesses, produce new food groups and even extend life. It is possible to imagine both new futures for our species and the creation of new species.

In this scenario, organic life is an expanding process — our form is not fixed at birth. As new body parts, new living environments and new beings are created, it is clear that our world is in endless evolution.

What is the future of our species, the creation of new species and how is our world in endless evolution through artificial intelligence?

Co(AI)xistence with Mirai Moriyama & Alter (developed by Ishiguro lab, Osaka University and Ikegami Lab, Tokyo University)

This section includes Alter 3, created by roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa with artificial life researcher Takashi Ikegami and Itsuki Doi. With a body of a bare machine and a genderless, ageless face, Alter learns and matures through an interplay with the surrounding world.

Justine Emard’s piece Co(AI)xistence explores a communication between different forms of intelligences: human and machine. Through signals, body movements and spoken language, she created the interaction between Alter and Mirai Moriyama, a Japanese performer. Using a deep learning system, Alter learns from his experiences and the two try to define new perspectives of co-existence in the world.

The Synthetic Apiary, Neri Oxman and The Mediated Matter Group at MIT

Architect, designer and MIT Professor Neri Oxman presents ongoing projects from her research lab, The Mediated Matter Group at MIT. The Synthetic Apiary explores the possibility of a controlled space in which seasonal honeybees can produce honey all year round. A large scale investigation into the cultivation of bees and their behaviour has huge implications for the future of the human race, due to the massive decline in bees worldwide over recent years.

Yoichi Ochiai defines ‘Digital Nature’ as a new perspective on nature based on digital media. In Digital Nature, significantly enhanced computation and resolution skills have become part of daily life, surpassing our current abilities. People of the future may live in Digital Nature, wherein the very concepts of nature, artificial objects, gravity and time are overturned.

Resurrecting The Sublime, Christina Agapakis of Ginkgo Bioworks, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, and Sissel Tolaas

Resurrecting The Sublime by Christina Agapakis of Ginkgo Bioworks, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, and Sissel Tolaas, brings back the smell of flowers made extinct through human activity. The creation of these smells asks questions about our relationship with nature and the decisions we make as a species.

"Our world is in endless evolution."

Watch the trailer for the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition.

Credits: Story

AI: More Than Human is a major exhibition exploring creative and scientific developments in AI, demonstrating its potential to revolutionise our lives. The exhibition takes place at the Barbican Centre, London from 16 May—26 Aug 2019.

Part of Life Rewired, our 2019 season exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.