At the end of the seventies, the first chess computers hit the market. Chess players could now enter an intellectual duel with a robot as their opponent. In 1996, chess computer Deep Blue defeated the reigning world champion Garri Kasparov and the human Intelligence was defeated by a machine. Nowadays the computer is taking over even more intelligent tasks from us. Just think about self-driving cars or friendly answering chatbots.
Computer technology is even linked to the human brain. For example in treating Parkinson’s by using ‘deep brain stimulation’. Slowly the bionic man arises: a man who has no shortcomings and delivers a superhuman performance. But when people and technology literally merge, do we become better people? Or will we just lose our humanity?
A special place is reserved for Artificial Intelligence (AI); the science of creating technology that displays intelligence. Often combined with Machine Learning where machines learn new things on the basis of data and algorithms. Artificial Intelligence is difficult to define but can be measured in scientific terms on the basis of the so-called TuringTest. This test comes down to the fact that if a computer can fool someone and make him believe that it is a person, the computer must be intelligent. In the extreme case, an artificially intelligent entity could well be the ultimate model of man. The developments in AI are going so quick that leading scientists and entrepreneurs such as Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have warned about the potential dangers several times.
The Danish photographers collective ‘The Merge‘ shows their research into artificial intelligence and robotics at BredaPhoto Festival. Could it be that our world is a construction; a created illusion? The latest chapter of their exploration ‘Dystopia’ is a futuristic ‘worst-case’ scenario that encourages a broader debate about artificial intelligence.