Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become—besides being an over-hyped buzzword across industries (that the design world is no exception to)—a reality. We debate about the impacts of AI and its subsets, machine and deep learning, and consider everything from virtual to augmented realities, and how these technologies may change our lives, jobs, and social relationships altogether.
We live in times where decisions about what we want is no longer under our control. While we believe to be free (at least in our western World), algorithms dictate our lives, hopes, and dreams. We are the parents and children, gods, and slaves of the technology we invented: Although it dominates us, we are deeply addicted to it. If “algorithms will liberate themselves entirely from us,” Peter Weibel proposes, dystopian science fictions may help us clarify what we desire and do not want.
At Slanted, we are “hands on.” We love the human spark, provoke happy accidents (scratches and glitches), explore edges, and consistently enter unknown terrain. So yes, although this is a printed issue, it could very well have been transported to a neural chip. More than ever this issue made us adventurers: looking with doubtful eyes at this new world of computation, numbers, and transhumanism, where (OMG!) machines are in many areas smarter than us and, occasionally, even encoded with higher ethical and moral standards than we will ever have.
Many generations grew up with art in private rooms and exhibition spaces, with telephone booths and postal letters. Bike messengers and fax machines were a game changer. Then, computation exploded. We now need to make decisions, Donna Haraway argues, as “we’re inside of what we make, and it’s inside of us. We’re living in a world of connections—and it matters which ones get made and unmade.”