Kultur Magazine 29: 2019

Page 28


WE NEED TO TALK IN THE AGE OF AI TWO YOUNG WOMEN FROM BERLIN HAVE FOUND AN INTERESTING WAY TO TACKLE THE COMPLEX TOPICS SURROUNDING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) IN A PLAYFUL AND ENTERTAINING WAY: ECONOMIST JULIA SCHNEIDER AND ILLUSTRATOR LENA KADRIYE ZIYAL DECIDED TO TEAM UP AND COMBINE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL SETS TO CREATE A COMIC ESSAY ON THE THEME. JOCHEN GUTSCH MET THE ARTISTS AT RE:PUBLICA CONFERENCE IN BERLIN. “In 30 years, will robots do all the unpleasant work for us? Or will they subjugate us to become submissive slaves?” These are some of the questions raised by the energetic duo. “The discussions about how AI will change our lives move between these poles. There is no doubt that the change will be dramatic”, they explain. According to Schneider and Ziyal, it may just be the right time to start interfering. With their comic, they invite the interested public on an illustrated journey through the dimensions and implications of the ground-breaking technology, discussing important opportunities and limitations.

AN ANCIENT DREAM OF HUMANITY “It is a creative stimulus for insiders of the subject as well as an invitation for newbies to get informed and join the debate. Artificial intelligence is an ancient dream of humanity.” While the team see the dark potential of the technology, they also stress that AI is a fascinating toolbox with the potential to help us solve some huge problems: “A key motivator for the comic essay is our conviction that the most difficult and pressing problems, such as climate change or capitalism-caused crises, are very, very complex. Unfortunately, our human brains are not really good at solving complex problems, in a way that society benefits from it”, they add. With their comic, Schneider and Ziyal aim to demystify both the appeal and the risks of AI, and to open the discourse: “Our involvement in or withdrawal from the debate will determine whose problems will be addressed with AI. Let our voices be heard — and our perspectives be seen.” The comic can be read (and shared, remixed or enhanced) from: https://weneedtotalk.ai/

DR. JULIA SCHNEIDER discovered data and code as tools to solve complex puzzles during her studies of econometrics. During her dissertation in empirical labor economics and in her later research career, she was concerned with puzzles that one wanted to solve with data and code. She prefers puzzles that deal with digital, diverse societies. Additionally, she is a comic aficionada. LENA KADRIYE ZIYAL During her studies of visual communication Lena dealt — vice versa — with the translation of thoughts into images. Her artistic approach is to encrypt complexity using associations of her own perspective and thereby widen the meaning of a specific issue. As a designer and illustrator she offers her skills at the Berlin-based content and graphicdesign agency Infotext.

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