Artificial intelligence, opportunity or threat?

Artificial Intelligence versus Augmented Humanity: this was the title of the first meeting – that took place on Wednesday 5th April – out of the two scheduled during the Milan Design Week and that Audy City Lab devoted to a reflection on artificial intelligence. Audi, co-producer of Interni’s exhibition-event Material Immaterial, chose the ex Archiepiscopal Seminary of Milan, set up by Saint Carlo Borromeo in 1564, as the venue of these two evening meetings and of the installations developed on this theme by Yuri Suzuki, Ingo Maurer and Studio Lovegrove.

The “versus” included in the title of the debate made the problem immediately clear in the heads of the speakers invited to take the floor: will artificial intelligence promote the growth of humanity or will it be a threat since it will control our lives?

After an introduction by Gilda Bojardi, Interni’s Editor in Chief, together with Fabrizio Longo, Director of Audi Italia, Journalist Monica Maggioni together with Timothy O’Connel from H Farm, an expert of digital development, asked questions to James Fallon, professor emeritus of neurosciences, Jakob Lange, architect and partner of the Big – Bjarke Ingles Group, Martin Micko, co-founder of SearchInk, Wally Pfister, movie director of ‘Transcendence’, Carlo Ratti, architect and director of the MIT Senseable City, Beppe Severgnini, Editor in Chief of Sette/Corriere della Sera, and Longo himself.

These different experiences have provided a very complex vision that confirms our shared belief that very soon, before we can possibly imagine, Artificial Intelligence will influence our personal and social behaviours until it will have an impact even on social regulations, work evolution and the most intimate personal relations.

A progress that we cannot stop and that raises a number of fundamental issues. How Man will be able to control this development is an open challenge, maybe the main “challenge” of the coming years. We have a certainty: a computer, though sophisticated and powerful, will never replace human decisions, at least ethical decisions, where answers are dictated by our consciences.

(Text by Antonella Galli – Photo by Efrem Raimondi)