How Deep is Your Dream

Lecture Series

Winter Semester 2016/17

New Media

Curated by

Olia Lialina


Gestaltung Plakate: Stefanie Ackermann

Artificial Intelligence proved to be a very unstable field, its 60 year history is a chain of periods filled with excitement and anticipation of the singularity, taking turns with times of total ignorance known as AI winters, when donors lose hope in replacing people by machines, when the general public is satiated with chat- and chess- and fridge-bots.

But this time* everything is different. The decade started with a lavish AI spring, flourished with Big Data and the Internet of Things, doped the world with an almost forgotten scent of smart homes and smart cities. This set the stage for something bigger, a new AI summer, a hot and deep summer of Neural Networks: NN based AI, or ANN, also referred today as “real” and “strong” AI: manufactured systems are imitating a network of brain neurons, algorithms are rewriting themselves, computers learning from their mistakes, and showing off with the first successes in science, business, security … and art.

* as every time

In July 2015 Google released their Deep Dream, a restless algorithm that learned to stare at an image until it sees the dog inside. The images it produces are ridiculous, scary and recognizable. Pattern recognition software made itself visible. It provoked developers and artists to exploit and explore neural networks, to dive deeper into its layers, looking for the source, uncovering and reverse engineering styles of epochs, art movements and particular names, coming back to the surface with visuals that would not be possible without an artificial brain.

How Deep is Your Dream? is an invitation to talk about machine learning, educating machines, and most importantly how to resist algorithmic authority; about the merging of AI and the arts, the role of media artist in teaching computers to become one.