Future Artefacts

Maximilian Goßler

Januar / January - 2019

Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart


This diploma thesis is an attempt to illustrate a future that is shaped by the omnipresence of artificial intelligence. The visualizations are supposed to give the viewer an idea of what a common future of man and AI may look like, in which AI is neither dangerous nor a panacea.

What is the Topic?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is developing rapidly and nobody can predict what will be possible in a few years with it. But to ensure that our future doesn‘t look unexpectedly negative thanks to AI, we have to guide this development today and articulate our dreams. The prerequisite for this, however, are ideas, examples, images into which we can imagine ourselves and thus create a concrete picture of a desirable future together with AI.

Why does it look like this?

Since AI is in general just code, Alexa would also run in the case of a Google-Home. In AI-systems, however, much more relevant than the external form is their capabilities and interaction with humans.What can this AI achieve and how does it influence our everyday lives? In order to visualize this influence more impressively, fictional commercials were produced that advertise an intelligent product based on AI. In addition to these commercials, the accompanying physical objects were also designed as examples. Since it makes little sense to design products for future people conclusively, these should be understood more as examples.

What is special?

The special thing about this diploma thesis is the developing process of the created future scenarios. It is not the human designer who is the origin of all creative ideas, it is the AI itself. A basic algorithm has created small scenarios based on various survey values, what an AI will do in the future. The algorithm has captured the feedback of more than 500 people on its website (www.wtfutures.com) to almost 10,000 of those scenarios to learn what makes a „desirable“ future scenario. Afterwards the algorithm was able to create more or less desirable scenarios. The human designer now only used the scenarios which the algorithm considers most desirable as the starting point. By detailing them, the designer breathed more life into them and finally showed impressive images of a common future of man and AI, which help the viewer to form his own opinion about the future.

What is new?

The AI is not only one of the protagonists of the future scenarios, but has also participated in their development. It has played a major role in the visualization of its own future relationship with man, without ignoring people‘s wishes. Man and machine have therefore worked together on their common future.