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World Museum Liverpool takes an Intelligent look at AI


World Museum Liverpool is taking a journey through the past and present and looking into the future with the first major exhibition anywhere to bring together AI with art, science, music and philosophy.

AI: More Than Human explores humans’ relationship with technology and the centuries-old desire to advance science, expand intelligence and extend life.

And it poses the question – as life and technology become more and more entwined, where do we end and technology begin? And are we shaping technology, or is it shaping us?

The major show was originally due to be staged in summer 2020. It was postponed until January 22 this year, but when the UK went back into lockdown it was postponed for a second time.

Now visitors will finally get to not only see the show in person, but also engage with its interactive elements (such as above) – which make up at least half the exhibition – after Covid safe protocols were put in place including regular cleaning of any ‘touch’ elements, more than a dozen hand sanitiser stations situated throughout the area and timed tickets to control numbers.

AI: More Than Human brings together artists, scientists and researchers to offer a look at subjects from experiments in computing to healthcare and racial bias, with visitors learning how artificial intelligence is even more ingrained in our lives than we might have thought.

The exhibition covers the origins of artificial intelligence and looks at ground-breaking work by key figures encompassing the last 150 years from the earliest analytical machines (pictured above) created by Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace and through the Second World War cryptographic work carried out with the help of the ‘Bombe’ computer at Bletchley Park onwards.

The capability AI has to change society, and the ethical issues that accompany that, is also explored, as is where AI fits in to the future of the human race.

But visitors might be surprised to find that the exhibition also looks deep into the past and considers medieval and Arabic alchemy, the religious traditions of Judaism – with the story of the Golem - and Shintoism, and the Gothic philosophies that gave rise to stories such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Assistant curator Anna Holsgrove explains: “I wanted to show that the idea of giving life to artificial beings isn’t something that has just happened. People have always been intrigued by the idea of giving life to things.

“What has changed is the technology.”

She adds: “I can’t wait for people to be able to come and see the exhibition now. It gives a fresh perspective on artificial intelligence. It throws a positive light on how we can collaborate with AI and shows that it’s not something that we need to fear.

“I hope people will be open and curious.”

Tickets are £12 with £11 concessions and £5 for children aged six to 17.

AI: More Than Human is at World Museum Liverpool until October 31. Book HERE