Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

Can artificial agents create art?
Talk by Mark Coeckelbergh on November 22nd

22 NOV 2017
Mark Coeckelbergh
Additional info
This talk of the Human Entities cycle (CADA associação) raises the question: Can artificial agents create art? With the subtitle “Towards thinking about human/non-human performances” Mark Coeckelbergh (BE/AT), of the University of Vienna will speak on the 22nd of November, at Sinel de Cordes Palace, in Lisbon, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The admission is free but requires a quick registration here.

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.

More info