MENUTrienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa
22 NOV
18:30-20:30

Human Entities # 4 – Mark Coeckelbergh

Conference, Palace, Free entrance

Human Entities # 4 – Mark Coeckelbergh

Can artificial agents create art? Towards thinking about human/non-human performances by Mark Coeckelbergh (BE/AT) University of Vienna. Many current visions about the future of artificial intelligence either focus on dystopian scenarios and existential risk, or uncritically dream of new ways of human enhancement, as for instance some versions of transhumanism. These ways of approaching the topic are unhelpful, however, in dealing with the challenges of artificial agents in the near future. They also tend to exclude reflection on the social and cultural dimension of the issue, including the more constructive and creative possibilities of how humans and artificial agents may collaborate and co-create.

In this talk, Mark Coeckelbergh discusses the question whether artificial agents can create art and proposes to give a cultural, social, and moderately posthumanist twist to the question.

Influenced by Wittgenstein, Pickering, and Latour, he argues that artefacts created and used by both humans and artificial agents get their meaning from the larger social-cultural wholes they are embedded in as much as they co-constitute these games and form of life, that our form of life has always been involving humans and non-humans, and that the question regarding the creativity of artificial agents should be reformulated as the question regarding the cultural meaning and artistic possibilities of human/non-human performances – even if compared to artificial agents humans remain the only performers and spectators in a strong sense due to their social subjectivity and embodiment.


About Mark Coeckelbergh

Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology at the Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna, Austria and part-time Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University, UK. Currently he is the President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology. Previously he was teaching at the University of Twente and was Managing Director of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. His publications include “Using Words and Things” (Routledge 2017), “New Romantic Cyborgs” (MIT 2017), “Money Machines” (Ashgate 2015), “Environmental Skill” (Routledge 2015), “Human Being @ Risk” (Springer 2013), “Growing Moral Relations” (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), and numerous articles in the area of philosophy of technology, in particular philosophy of robotics and ICT, language and technology, and machine creativity. He also actively explores questions concerning technology through collaborations with artists and curators.


Conference, Palace, Free entrance
Can artificial agents create art? Towards thinking about human/non-human performances by Mark Coeckelbergh (BE/AT) University of Vienna. Many current visions about the future of artificial intelligence either focus on dystopian scenarios and existential risk, or uncritically dream of new ways of human enhancement, as for instance some versions of transhumanism. These ways of approaching the topic are unhelpful, however, in dealing with the challenges of artificial agents in the near future. They also tend to exclude reflection on the social and cultural dimension of the issue, including the more constructive and creative possibilities of how humans and artificial agents may collaborate and co-create.

In this talk, Mark Coeckelbergh discusses the question whether artificial agents can create art and proposes to give a cultural, social, and moderately posthumanist twist to the question.

Influenced by Wittgenstein, Pickering, and Latour, he argues that artefacts created and used by both humans and artificial agents get their meaning from the larger social-cultural wholes they are embedded in as much as they co-constitute these games and form of life, that our form of life has always been involving humans and non-humans, and that the question regarding the creativity of artificial agents should be reformulated as the question regarding the cultural meaning and artistic possibilities of human/non-human performances – even if compared to artificial agents humans remain the only performers and spectators in a strong sense due to their social subjectivity and embodiment.


About Mark Coeckelbergh

Professor of Philosophy of Media and Technology at the Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna, Austria and part-time Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University, UK. Currently he is the President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology. Previously he was teaching at the University of Twente and was Managing Director of the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology. His publications include “Using Words and Things” (Routledge 2017), “New Romantic Cyborgs” (MIT 2017), “Money Machines” (Ashgate 2015), “Environmental Skill” (Routledge 2015), “Human Being @ Risk” (Springer 2013), “Growing Moral Relations” (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), and numerous articles in the area of philosophy of technology, in particular philosophy of robotics and ICT, language and technology, and machine creativity. He also actively explores questions concerning technology through collaborations with artists and curators.


Conference, Palace, Free entrance
08 NOV
18.30-20:30

Human Entities #3 Izabella Kaminska

Presentation, Palace, Free entrance

Human Entities #3 Izabella Kaminska

When is innovation not really innovation? by Izabella Kaminska writer and columnist for the Financial Times.

In this presentation, Izabella Kaminska will address some of the major technological fallacies being propagated by the tech community and ask the audience to question the logic behind some of the rhetoric being force fed to the masses with regards to technological systems. There’s a presumption in technology that all innovation is good, and that more information and more data can only lead to positive outcomes. But what if innovation can be both good and bad? For example, criminals are highly innovative, but are they really adding value? Information too can be both accurate or misleading. Statistics can be grossly misused to confirm biases rather than set out neutral findings.


And whereas our cultural mindset is moving towards greater acceptance of diverse groups, algorithms and neural networks are being introduced which lack this sort of empathy entirely and end up discriminating in-passionately. At corporations around the world, in a clear example of Jevons paradox in action, administrators and core staff are being laid off or downsized only to be replaced with even more expensive (and often larger) cohorts of IT consultants in the long run. Most of the time there’s very little impact on the bottom line.


The proposition Robert Solow’s put forward in the 90s that we can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics is simply not dissipating as a result.


In an era when Google can fire an employee for believing that women may be naturally inclined towards different professions, yet its own algorithms make huge presumptions about the tendencies and inclinations of women all the time, while encouraging gaming and front-running of consumers on the internet, we have to ask just whose interests is Silicon Valley really serving? Technology that fails to empower the masses is hardly liberating or progressive.


About Izabella Kaminska

Izabella Kaminska is a writer, blogger and columnist for the Financial Times‘s award-winning FT Alphaville blog as well as for its opinion pages. She regularly reports about technology, media and market trends, as well as economics, banking and finance. In the last few years she’s turned her attention to the rise of fintech, the sharing economy and cryptocurrency. Before joining the FT, Izabella was a producer for CNBC and a reporter for Reuters. She started her career working for English-language business titles in the former Soviet Union, while developing specialist knowledge about the petrochemical industry. She has also worked as an associate editor of BP’s internal magazine.

Presentation, Palace, Free entrance

When is innovation not really innovation? by Izabella Kaminska writer and columnist for the Financial Times.

In this presentation, Izabella Kaminska will address some of the major technological fallacies being propagated by the tech community and ask the audience to question the logic behind some of the rhetoric being force fed to the masses with regards to technological systems. There’s a presumption in technology that all innovation is good, and that more information and more data can only lead to positive outcomes. But what if innovation can be both good and bad? For example, criminals are highly innovative, but are they really adding value? Information too can be both accurate or misleading. Statistics can be grossly misused to confirm biases rather than set out neutral findings.


And whereas our cultural mindset is moving towards greater acceptance of diverse groups, algorithms and neural networks are being introduced which lack this sort of empathy entirely and end up discriminating in-passionately. At corporations around the world, in a clear example of Jevons paradox in action, administrators and core staff are being laid off or downsized only to be replaced with even more expensive (and often larger) cohorts of IT consultants in the long run. Most of the time there’s very little impact on the bottom line.


The proposition Robert Solow’s put forward in the 90s that we can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics is simply not dissipating as a result.


In an era when Google can fire an employee for believing that women may be naturally inclined towards different professions, yet its own algorithms make huge presumptions about the tendencies and inclinations of women all the time, while encouraging gaming and front-running of consumers on the internet, we have to ask just whose interests is Silicon Valley really serving? Technology that fails to empower the masses is hardly liberating or progressive.


About Izabella Kaminska

Izabella Kaminska is a writer, blogger and columnist for the Financial Times‘s award-winning FT Alphaville blog as well as for its opinion pages. She regularly reports about technology, media and market trends, as well as economics, banking and finance. In the last few years she’s turned her attention to the rise of fintech, the sharing economy and cryptocurrency. Before joining the FT, Izabella was a producer for CNBC and a reporter for Reuters. She started her career working for English-language business titles in the former Soviet Union, while developing specialist knowledge about the petrochemical industry. She has also worked as an associate editor of BP’s internal magazine.

Presentation, Palace, Free entrance