Last weekend I visited the FAKE ME HARD exhibition which explores the reality of technology through futuristic installations, performances and debates. What struck me: the Kurzweilian AI-perspective was everywhere. Even our artistic imagination seems unable to truly transcend the capitalist AI-ideology of hardcore dataism and a mechanistic interpretation of intelligence.
AI criticism shouldn’t mean that we have to unquestioningly accept Silicon Valley’s AI marketing discourse before we can criticize it. AI criticism should mean: envisioning diverse futures beyond the AI-takeover hypercycle as well as beyond the ‘’human-centered AI” cliché. It should question the misleading PR story of “intelligence explosions” and AI-systems that “understand” us or “know us better than we know ourselves” rather than fuel these AI-industry driven perspectives.
However, I was impressed by the exhibition. Especially its broad perspective on what ‘’fakeness’’ means was very good. And there were some great works to discover. I was truly touched by Liam Young’s Planet City. The idea in short: the entire world population lives in a giant city occupying a fraction of the earth’s surface, freeing the rest of the world for rewilding and the return of stolen lands.
For the first time I came across a speculative image of the future which didn’t make me feel disgusted, angry, depressed or alienated. Although hyper density has unlikable aspects, I like Planet City for its ambiguity, sociological-reflective potential, and its warm colors and cultural imagination. Google Smart City (and other creators of deadly Brave New World tech-dystopia’s) eat your heart out.