Primal A.I.

A Critical Inquiry of Artificial Intelligence as an Extractive Tool for Design

Shahriar Assadi

September / September - 2022

Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen

Master of Arts


Primal A.I. looks at the contemporary emergence of A.I. Behind the mystical phrase ‘artificial intelligence’ one finds a machine that is neither artificial nor intelligent. The development process of A.I. begins with sedimentary rocks that are partially extracted from the earth by manual labour before they are processed into technology metals through chemical and physical separation processes. The further path to its development is paved by multiple levels of exploitation and extraction. Therefore, should artificial intelligence not rather be critically illuminated and seen as the result of extractive and exploitative human practices? This work uses artificial intelligence to critically stage its own origin. Three hand tools emphasise the extraction of raw materials and the manual labour involved. Created through experimental work with different machine learning models, a novel process is being explored that supports collaboration between humans and A.I. in physical design.