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San Francisco’s de Young Museum gets major AI exhibition ‘Uncanny Valley’

uncanny valley

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco has announced a major artificial intelligence (AI) exhibition. Opening in 2020 at San Francisco’s de Young Museum is ‘Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI’.

Uncanny Valley will be the first major exhibition in the US to look at the relationship between humans and intelligent machines.

The exhibition is taking place at the de Young Museum, on the first floor and in the sculpture garden. It will run from February 22 to October 25, 2020.

“Technology is changing our world, with artificial intelligence both a new frontier of possibility but also a development fraught with anxiety,” said Thomas P Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

“Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI brings artistic exploration of this tension to the ground zero of emerging technology, raising challenging questions about the future interface of human and machine.”

Exploring relationship between humans and machines

uncanny valley

It will focus on the philosophical, political, and poetic questions and problems raised by AI, asking how AI is impacting our lives.

Uncanny Valley will also ask visitors how we define intelligence, and how we envision the future of humanity.

Claudia Schmuckli, Curator in Charge of Contemporary Art and Programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, added: “By paying close attention to the imminent and nuanced realities of AI’s possibilities and pitfalls, the artists in the exhibition seek to thicken the discourse around AI.

“Although fables like HBO’s sci-fi drama Westworld, or Spike Jonze’s feature film ‘Her’ still populate the collective imagination with dystopian visions of a mechanised future, the artists in this exhibition treat such fictions as relics of a humanist tradition that has little relevance today.”

Exhibition asks how AI is impacting our personal lives

uncanny valley

Visitors will get the chance to look at Pierre Huyghe‘s ‘Exomind (Deep Water)’, a sculpture in the museum’s garden with a live beehive as its head.

Uncanny Valley also features Ian Cheng‘s digitally simulated AI creature ‘BOB (Bag of Beliefs)’, as well as Hito Steyerl‘s video installation ‘The City of Broken Windows’.

Other works include Lynn Hershman Leeson’s new installation ‘Shadow Stalker’, Stephanie Dinkins‘ ‘Conversations with Bina48’, and Martine Syms‘ ‘Mythiccbeing’.

More artists and works in Uncanny Valley:

Forensic Architecture – ‘Model Zoo’

Agnieszka Kurant – ‘A.A.I.’

Christopher Kulendran Thomas and Annika Kuhlmann – ‘Being Human’

Lawrence Lek – ‘Aidol’

Zach Blas – ‘The Doors’

Trevor Paglen – ‘From Apple to Anomaly’

Images: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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