We were chosen to host the January “Design/Dings/Tag” (read: Favoured Design on Tuesdays, catchier in German) – a series of events that some Hamburg colleagues have come up with together with the designxport: Once a month, design companies open their doors to the public and showcase their ‘design/ding’ – a project or product of other designers that caught their eye. Afterwards there will be eager discussions and networking – a discipline for which we at INDEED are known for 😉
Most likely weren’t satisfied with just presenting fancy designs … No, my colleagues Stefanie Wibbeke, Johanna Joppien and Heiko Tullney have choosen the most exciting common denominator and focused on the hottest AI projects which caught their interest in the last months. As usual they put all projects in relation to humans. Because that’s what it’s all about: how can artificial intelligence improve human life?
Johanna, innovation specialist at our sister company TOI – Tools of Innovators kicked off. She introduced us to a ‘smart narcissist’: “Narciss” is an installation by the multi-talented Christian “Mio” Loclair, who has studied human-machine interaction and now works as a coder, choreographer and creative director. An Artificial Intelligence, a computer, looks in a mirror and thinks about what he/she/it represents – self-interpretation in an endless loop. Narciss gets to know himself better and gets closer to the truth. Johanna’s fascination lays precisely in this aspect, deep learning in an almost human way: Do we actually always know who we are? And don’t we always learn more about ourselves? After all, it is self-perception and the perspective that determines our human behaviour and our social interaction.
Stefanie, who runs the marketing for us, came up with blatant contrasts and asked the audience in the end the question: AI – are you more afraid of it or do you see huge opportunities? She showed a frightening video by Berkeley professor Stuart Russell, which showed a horror scenario of tiny but highly effective killer drones, and then immediately introduced the new pet office: ‘Indeedo’ is a cuddly dinosaur who learns daily from how people interact with him. And since he has been part of the team for three weeks, he cuddles with one more and with the other less, he demands his food, gets a bit insufferable, if you annoy him and tired when the work hours are exceeded. Personally – and with me at least all the female guests – I’m a bit in love. Incidentally, it is currently being tested whether it can be used, for example, in child psychiatry – as a therapeutic remedy, of course, not as a substitute for human interaction, care and affection.
Last but not least, it was Heiko’s turn. He is always keen to emphasize and demand the responsibility of designers within AI projects – interestingly, an aspect that has sparked fierce debate and controversy within the design-driven audience. Heiko is not only an industrial designer, he also studied art history, so his favourite project was the digital muse of the artist Roman Lipski, which uses AI to inspire, animate and motivate people to enter a new era of art.
Happily we led the discussion that followed and recognized that the subject of AI continues to polarize even in a design-ambitious development setting. Enthusiastic conversations were welcomed and had been channeled with an ‘In Vino Veritas’ session. True to the principle “answer for wine”, the guests continued to discuss. A successful conclusion – and cheers!