Prepare to meet the future of artificial intelligence as the Barbican presents a major new exhibition: 'AI: More than Human' – an unprecedented survey of creative and scientific developments in artificial intelligence, exploring the evolution of the relationship between humans and technology.
The art of artificial intelligence...
Part of Life Rewired, the Barbican’s 2019 season explores what it means to be human when technology is changing everything. The exhibition 'AI: More than Human' tells the rapidly developing story of AI, from its extraordinary ancient roots in Japanese Shintoism, Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage’s early experiments in computing, to AI’s major developmental leaps from the 1940s to the present day to show how an age-old dream of creating intelligence has already become today’s reality.
#1: Meet the first artificial intelligence
The golem is a mythical creature from Jewish folklore, that has influenced art, literature and film for centuries from Frankenstein to Blade Runner and is considered to be one of the first instances of artificial intelligence. Learn more about the history behind the creature.
#2: Listen to Kode9's brand new sound installation on The Golem
Artist and electronic musician Kode9 presents an audio essay adapting and sampling many of stories of unruly artificial entities to create an eerie starting point to the exhibition.
Installation photo from the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition, featuring Marija Avramovic and Sam Twidale (2019/2019) by Barbican CentreBarbican Centre
#3: Watch animation unfold in real time
Characters decide themselves which path to follow in Sam Twidale and Marija Avramovic’s Sunshowers, inspired by Japanese Shinto beliefs to explore notions of animism and techno-animism.
#4: Follow the history of AI in our interactive timeline from 1843 to today
Learn about the early pioneers that paved the way for artificial intelligence including one of the first computer programmers, Ada Lovelace; creator of the Analytical Engine, Charles Babbage and one of the creators of machine learning, Alan Turing.
#5: Swim with robot fishes
Learn about MIT CSAIL’s SoFi - a robotic fish that can independently swim alongside real fish in the sea
#6: Play with Sony’s robotic puppy, aibo
See how it uses its database of memories and experiences to develop its own personality.
POEMPortraits: an interactive artwork combining poetry + design + AI (2019/2019) by Google Arts & CultureBarbican Centre
#7: Donate a word to Es Devlin’s POEMPortraits
See your word instantly incorporated into a two-line poem generated by an algorithm trained on 20 million words of poetry. Print your bespoke POEMPortrait to take home with you.
#8: Learn how technology is helping improve the future of bees
Find out about The Mediated Matter’s Synthetic Apiary, part of the MIT Media Lab, a project which has developed a new kind of environment bridging urban and organismic scales.
#9: Smell an extinct flower
In Resurrecting The Sublime, Christina Agapakis of Ginkgo Bioworks, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, and Sissel Tolaas bring 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.
#10: Get classified by an AI
Nexus Studios have produced a series of interactive works in Seeing is Believing...? that demonstrate how AI works. Visitors can opt to be classified by an AI, revealing how the computer interprets their image.
#11: Interact with an AI version of yourself
Digital art and design collective Universal Everything will take over the Barbican’s main Silk Street entrance hall to create a new installation, Future You, where visitors can interact with an AI version of themselves.
Large digital avatars mimic visitors’ movements onscreen. When the exhibition opens, the character begins in primitive, childlike form and evolves throughout the exhibition’s run, as it learns new ergonomic abilities.
Installation photo of teamLab's What a Loving and Beautiful World, on display in the Barbican's The Pit as part of 'AI: More than Human' (2019/2019) by Barbican CentreBarbican Centre
#12: Use your shadow to create a new world
In the Barbican's The Pit, art collective teamLab displays their interactive digital installation What a Loving and Beautiful World, creating an immersive, ever-changing environment populated with Chinese characters and natural phenomena triggered by visitors. When a visitor’s shadow touches a character, the world contained inside that character unfolds, intermingling with the worlds released from the other characters to create an entirely new world, in which no two moments are ever the same.
#13: Relive the moment a computer beat a professional gamer
Watch the move that shocked the world when Google DeepMind’s Alpha Go became the first computer that defeated a professional in the complex Chinese strategy game Go, in 2016, including an in-depth explanation of the surprising Move 37.
Installation photo from the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition featuring Lawrence Lek's interactive game set at the Barbican, 2065 (2019/2019) by Barbican CentreBarbican Centre
#14: Visit the Barbican in 2065
Lawrence Lek’s open-world video game 2065 is set in a speculative future, when advanced automation means that people no longer have to work and can spend all day playing video games and art is indistinguishable from gaming. Integrating the architecture of the Barbican Curve into the virtual world, players are invited to play the role of an AI to imagine what life might be like in future years.
#15: Meet LAUREN
Lauren McCarthy’s experiment to become a human version of a smart home intelligence system explores the tensions between intimacy vs privacy, convenience vs the agency they present, and the role of human labour in the future of automation.
Installation photo from the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition featuring Anna Ridler's Myriad (Tulips) (2019/2019) by Barbican CentreBarbican Centre
#16: See what a physical dataset looks like
For Anna Ridler’s Myriad (Tulips) - inspired by ‘tulip-mania’ - the financial craze for tulip bulbs that swept across the Netherlands in the 1630s, she took 10,000 photographs of tulips and categorised them by hand, revealing the human aspect that sits behind machine learning.
#17: Join the Algorithmic Justice League
Discover Joy Buolamwini’s work into racial and gender bias in facial analysis software. As a graduate student, Joy found an AI system detected her better when she was wearing a white mask, prompting her research project, Gender Shades.
Installation photo from the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition, featuring Hiroshi Ishiguro's Alter (2019/2019) by Barbican CentreBarbican Centre
#18: Meet Alter 3
Hiroshi Ishiguo’s lifelike robot features in Justine Emard’s piece Co(AI)xistence exploring 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.
#19: Discover how AI is improving road safety
Get into the driver's seat and try a driving arcade game during which an AI by Affectiva, the leader in Human Perception AI, will track drivers’ emotions and reactions as they encounter different situations.
Installation photo from the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition featuring a new artwork from Robert del Naja and Massive Attack (2019/2019) by Barbican CentreBarbican Centre
#20: Use your movements to change the sound of Massive Attack’s Mezzanine
Experience a new sound composition with Robert Del Naja and Mick Grierson at the Creative Computing Institute at University of the Arts London (UAL), students from UAL and Goldsmith’s College, and Andrew Melchior of the Third Space Agency to create a unique piece of art that highlights the remarkable possibilities when music and technology collide. The album will be fed into a neural network and visitors will be able to affect its sound by their actions and movements, with the output returned in high definition.
Yoichi Achiai, Digital Nature. (2018/2018) by Yoichi AchiaiBarbican Centre
#21: See an artificial butterfly
For the first time in the UK, Japanese media artist Yoichi Ochiai presents projects from his research lab, Digital Nature, including an artificial butterfly.
Exhibition trailer for the Barbican's AI: More than Human (2019/2019) by Barbican CentreBarbican Centre
Watch the trailer for the Barbican's AI: More than Human exhibition.
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.