Ai Weiwei asked AI 81 major issues about technology, life and us

2011, contemporary artists Ai Weiwei used to be Arrested for 81 daysImprisoned in Beijing by the Chinese government for criticizing the communist regime and surveillance and defending human rights. His legacy and work often explore these themes, including his widely reported arrest, which sheds light on power and humanity.

His latest exhibition is no exception. This time, Ai Weiwei used technology as the theme and asked 81 big questions to the audience. AI system. in other words: AI.

be authorised Institute for Radical Contemporary Art and Culture (CIRCA)Ai Weiwei’s questions were projected on billboards in major cities such as London, Seoul, Berlin, Lagos, Nairobi and Milan, each displaying a series of spiritual, personal, broad-based reflections and ideas proposed by Ai Weiwei and his collaborators. Intimacy issues.Described as “81 Days of Enlightenment Exploration,” a set of 81 questions will be asked each day on important global hotspotsincluding London’s crowded Piccadilly Circus and other busy areas around the world.

AI on Artificial Intelligence in Seoul.
Image source: CIRCA.

The questions range from the political (“Is true democracy possible?”, “Are you controlled by the privileged class?”, “Will capitalism end?”) to the abstract (“Do plants have feelings?”, ” Why do they have feelings?”) Do turtles live so long, do they know about lunar eclipses? ”). And then there are some basic questions that go to basic human questions: “Does ‘not knowing’ absolve people of guilt? “, “Are you capable? “Self-destruction?”, and “What are the most essential values ​​of human life?”. The themes are diverse, from karma, to sex, to justice, to the idea of ​​time itself.

Most of the questions seem to be directed towards OpenAI’s ChatGPTCIRCA has been published Answer On its website, the public can also view AI answers to the most thoughtful questions. AI’s own ideas are published alongside AI’s ideas.

Their views unintentionally diverged. For example, on the question “Can an artist be considered an artist if he is not an activist?”, the two had completely opposite views. There is no doubt that an activist would be akin to an inanimate entity” and ChatGPT took the predictable stance: “Yes, an artist can still be considered an artist even if they are not an activist. “

Scattered on the floor were pieces of paper posing Ai Weiwei's questions.

Behind the scenes of Ai Weiwei’s projects.
Image source: CIRCA.

Artificial Intelligence also raises questions about artificial intelligence itself, speaking to the immanence—or lack thereof—of machines that are ubiquitous in everyday life: For example, “What is one question you would like to ask humans?” and “How many?” You Use energy to answer this question?”.

Ai Weiwei's question appeared on an advertising billboard in London.

Artificial intelligence versus artificial intelligence in Piccadilly Circus, London.
Image source: CIRCA.

The project stems from 172 questions written by the Chinese poet and aristocrat Qu Yuan (entitled “Tian Wen” or “Heaven’s Questions”) to the gods, which he inscribed on the wall of a temple nearly 2,300 years ago. The work was inspired by the interrogations Ai Weiwei himself faced while in detention, which examined who had the right to question.

“This is not about freedom of speech. This is about freedom to ask questions. Everyone has the right to ask questions,” Ai Weiwei said in a statement.

Each question will be asked on a specific date, from January 11 to March 31. In selected cities, advertising boards will display Ai Weiwei’s ideas at 20:24 local time every day, and compare Ai Weiwei’s and artificial intelligence system’s answers. The number “24” is also intentional: according to the Chinese zodiac cycle, 2024 is a year of transformation, evolution and change.

The project platform not only highlights emerging technological systems of artificial intelligence, but also reveals access to information, the power of questioning, and the importance of doing so.

Ai Weiwei said: “If humanity can be liberated, it will be because we ask the right questions, not provide the right answers.”


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