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THE INTERNET OF ENLIGHTENED THINGS

POSTED:
September 28, 2020

Thesis students were invited to exhibit THE INTERNET OF ENLIGHTENED THINGS, a collection of projects that explore the implications and opportunities of sharing our lives – willingly or not – with ever more “intelligent” objects and systems. These works were created the previous Spring term with faculty Ben Hooker and Phil van Allen.

THE INTERNET OF ENLIGHTENED THINGS is a collection of projects that explore the implications and opportunities of sharing our lives – willingly or not – with ever more “intelligent” objects and systems. We are interested in new manifestations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in the “neighborhood” where people interact with the urban at a human scale.

From intelligent street lights that track vehicles and pedestrians (along with bird songs and gunshots), to emotional recognition systems in retail stores, to in-ear personal assistants, soon our urban environment could be full of autonomous AI systems that change the character (and constituents) of the “local.”

We asked a range of questions when initiating these projects: What are the ecologies created by embedded AI, what would the interactions be like, how do the different systems interact with each other, and what role should design play? What about the well being of the AI systems? What are the day-to-day implications of the technology and methodologies of AI/ML: neural nets, supervised/unsupervised learning, the edge/fog/cloud network infrastructure, or the methods and biases of data-scientists?

The projects use a mixture of media and working technology to explore the human impact of pervasive AI entities and architectures. They are speculative, experimental, even strange; they embrace the potential complexities and are neither utopian or dystopian. The goal is to reveal insights and inspire discussion relevant to emerging design practices that combine the human, the civic, and the smart thing.

Wind Tunnel Graduate Center for Critical Practice is an initiative of the graduate programs in Art and Media Design Practices at Art Center College of Design. The Wind Tunnel, situated between the two programs in a former supersonic jet testing facility on Art Center's south campus, is a forum for speakers, conferences, exhibitions, residencies, screenings, and publications.

Parking is free or take the Gold Line and exit at Filmore Station.