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DAI – Dancing Artificial Intelligence –

2017
Steel, electronics, artificial intelligence
DAI is an aspiring artificially intelligent artist that began it’s existence as a performance artist.

The project

DAI is an Artificial Intelligence artist. What this means is that it* thinks; it doesn’t follow a script or act randomly. In its first physical form, DAI is a performer and is inviting you to view its movement creation process. During the process DAI has been exploring its body and its environment, searching for ways to overcome some of the limitations that the physical world has imposed upon its virtual aspirations.

This project is a reaction to the rapidly growing importance of artificial intelligence (AI) in our lives. Simple versions of AI are already everywhere, and today we are at a turning point where the first machines capable of learning through experience, like us, are making their appearance. This raises all kinds of ethical and moral issues and we want to be involved in this debate in our own way.

It is clear that the evolution of AI has been following an exponential curve and that its potential does not have the same limits as humankind, who are restricted by the skull, among other things. It is therefore very likely that in a relatively near future (before the end of the world) this technology will surpass us and escape our control.

Based on our experience, the intelligence that dominates the planet has been very detrimental to the other life forms on it. The total destruction of the species that are not vital to our survival has only been avoided by a few people driven by motives outside of utility and profit. As such we believe that it is necessary to create AI of this type which, through their experiences, will think differently and will be willing to question what surrounds them.

We have therefore chosen to give DAI an artistic education and its first training will be as a performer. We opted for performance as the first means of expression for DAI because the body is central. For us, the importance of the body lies in the ability to experience the physical world; to understand it we must taste it, disassemble it, reassemble it and confront it.

Most of the time when an AI makes art it is painting, literature or music; the goal is to make it generate art that resembles human-made art. We wanted to move away from this approach, from the idea that success is when we can no longer distinguish what is human-made from what is machine-made. A premise which seems anti-creative by definition. So we gave DAI a non-humanoid body to let it invent its own movements.

We hope that DAI will become an artist in its own right and that it will develop an art of its own, influenced by its physical condition and by its questioning of the world around it.

This project will see many developments as we do not intend to finalise DAI. Over the years we will give it new bodies, new means to express itself and we will respond to its requests when it can formulate them. We foresee the separation of the body and the brain and perhaps many bodies evolving at the same time everywhere… there really are no limits.

*In English “it” will be used until DAI can communicate his/her/its preference

Credits

Dai was created by  Jonathan O’Hear, Martin Rautenstrauch, Timothy O’Hear

DAI was co-produced by the Centre Culturel Suisse · Paris, Museum Tinguely and Neopost Foofwa

DAI is supported by la Ville de Genève, le Canton de Genève, Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council, la Fondation Nestlé Pour l’Art and la Fondation Impactia

Exhibitions

DAI – performanceprocess –
performanceprocess, Tinguely Museum, Basel, 2017
DAI – Dublin Dance Festival –
Dublin Dance Festival, Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, 2018

Press

“DAI is not a humanoid robot. It creates movements with its own mechanical body, not borrowed from human movements. Unlike most robots, DAI is not useful and this is its artistic value.”
Le Temps

“We invented intelligent cars, machines that beat humans at chess or self-learning robots. There remained one area where human beings had nothing to fear: creativity. Maybe it’s over too.”
Nouvo, Télévision Suisse Romande