Talks: “Human Entities: culture in the age of artificial intelligence” with Mark Coeckelbergh

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Conference | November 22, 2017; 6:30 pm—8:30 pm
Palácio Sinel de Cordes, Lisbon, Portugal

The fourth talk of the Human Entities raises the question: Can artificial agents create art? With the subtitle “Towards thinking about human/non-human performances” Mark Coeckelbergh (BE/AT), of the University of Vienna will speak on the 22nd of November, at Sinel de Cordes Palace, in Lisbon, between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. The admission is free but requires a quick registration here.

Many current visions about the future of artificial intelligence either focus on dystopian scenarios and existential risk, or uncritically dream of new ways of human enhancement, as for instance some versions of transhumanism. These ways of approaching the topic are unhelpful, however, in dealing with the challenges of artificial agents in the near future. They also tend to exclude reflection on the social and cultural dimension of the issue, including the more constructive and creative possibilities of how humans and artificial agents may collaborate and co-create.

In this talk, the philosopher Mark Coeckelbergh discusses the question whether artificial agents can create art and proposes to give a cultural, social, and moderately posthumanist twist to the question.

Influenced by Wittgenstein, Pickering, and Latour, he argues that artefacts created and used by both humans and artificial agents get their meaning from the larger social-cultural wholes they are embedded in as much as they co-constitute these games and form of life, that our form of life has always been involving humans and non-humans, and that the question regarding the creativity of artificial agents should be reformulated as the question regarding the cultural meaning and artistic possibilities of human/non-human performances – even if compared to artificial agents humans remain the only performers and spectators in a strong sense due to their social subjectivity and embodiment.

This event is part of the cycle “Human Entities: culture in the age of artificial intelligence”, organised by CADA in partnership with Lisbon Architecture Triennale.

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