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May 19, 2019

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‘More than human’: Wonders of AI on show in London

MANAGING the health of the planet, fighting discrimination or boosting innovation in the arts; the fields in which Artificial Intelligence can help humans are countless, and an ambitious London exhibition aims to prove it.

Under the title “AI: more than human,” the immense Barbican cultural center brings together more than 200 installations, exhibits and projects by artists, scientists and researchers from all over the world.

Until August, visitors will be able to take a journey from the long-held dream of creating artificial life to the reality of today’s most cutting-edge projects.

An immersive space by Japanese collective teamLab forms one of the most intriguing exhibits, with art and science combining to let the visitor leave their mark on an evolving digital wall projection.

There are also robots of all shapes and sizes, from Sony’s small dog Aibo — whose first version from 1999 has now evolved into an AI model — to a large mechanical arm that prepares and serves cocktails.

Other exhibits explore the complex systems that keep big cities ticking over and push forward research into medical conditions from cancer to blindness.

The current limits of AI are investigated, including racial bias in some facial recognition software.

Properly designed AI can help prevent harm, said Francesca Rossi, head of ethics at IBM Research.

“If the machine can understand this concept of bias, then it can alert us if it sees that there is bias in our decision making,” she said.

Although the idea of decoding the human brain and imitating its functions was born in the mid-1950s, AI only exploded in 2010 thanks to very fast state-of-the-art processors that allow the analysis of huge amounts of data.

The machines have since come on leaps and bounds.


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