Structuring project

Chantier IA

The development of artificial intelligence has occupied much of the conversation in recent months. The release of ChatGPT and other generative algorithms that produce images, videos, movie scripts, lesson plans or pass university-level exams raises a series of fundamental questions about the place of human beings in a world where machines can do many complex and creative tasks. Beyond these existential questions, generative algorithms of the LLM (Large Language Model) type raise issues linked to intellectual property, human creativity and the very role of art.

IThere’s no need to bury our heads in the sand: even if these algorithms are currently controlled by a handful of corporations, who obey a frantic pace of launch without considering the potential risks of their AI, refusing these technologies will neither slow down their development nor their deployment. Moreover, we believe that artists have an important role to play in understanding the potential of AI and in building a critical relationship with these contemporary golems. We believe that artists have the capacity to move these questions onto the terrain of representation, to offer a critical distance between the human world and these artificial technologies, and to participate in the development of a healthy knowledge of the issues already raised by these robots, for whom the gateway to natural language has opened up a new way into the human psyche.

It’s difficult to dismiss the mythology and the collective imagination when assessing the impact of such a technological revolution. A future in which artificial intelligence has a conscience can only be envisaged in a relationship of simulacra, in which humans attribute an anthropomorphic character to an algorithm. The same applies to the fantasy of immortality conjured up by new technologies through the possibility of grafting, or even merging, the human with the machine, thus distancing the former from his emotions and bringing the latter closer to consciousness. From the hope offered by a technological solutionism to paranoia, the spectrum of emotions in the face of AI is chaotic, which is why we urgently need to open up a space at a distance from the world, a space where artists look at and reflect on the machine for what it is, for what it can and cannot do, to show it naked, to shed light on the mythology that has been built around it since we renamed it artificial intelligence instead of LLM or deep learning algorithms. It’s urgent that artists get involved, and take the special look at this new world that only works of art can offer.

For 2023 – and until 2026 – we are launching a brand new cycle of reflection and support for artistic creation around the issues of artificial intelligence (AI). Algorithmic automation now affects almost every sphere of our society, often unbeknownst to us because it is camouflaged in the black box of our technological devices. As mentioned above, this is a field that is currently expanding and becoming increasingly complex at an accelerated pace. So it seems essential to us to devote some sustained attention to it, in order to understand and appropriate the tools associated with this technology, and to unravel the reflexive thread that can emerge from it.

Through a series of artistic residencies and related activities, including workshops and exhibitions, Sporobole aims to contribute to the development of knowledge about AI and algorithms. The aim will be to reflect on the role of algorithms, not only their assumed function, but also their hidden agenda; to divert their prescribed use; to explore their potential through situational and contextual displacement; to deepen our critical and ethical stance towards algorithms; to consider possible modalities of “cohabitation”. In addition, a co-construction of knowledge approach will be put forward through certain residencies, where the notion of knowledge transfer will be particularly emphasized.

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