Research trip

Vladan Joler & Kate Crawford – Anatomy of an AI

Vladan Joler & Kate Crawford, Anatomy of an AI, 2018, digital print on Forex, 240 x 360 cm

It all starts with a small tower that communicates with his owners via Alexa, an artificial intelligence (AI) developed by Amazon. An Amazon Echo is just an empty shell. Deep learning and the calculation of the appropriate answer take place somewhere else, in large data centers. Every question we ask Alexa is sent over long distances, around the world within seconds. But what exactly is behind this? How many resources? How much rare earth metal? How much child labor? 

The scientists Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler impressively visualize their intensive research of the Anatomy of an AI on a large map. The results take the viewer on a journey around the globe: from the tin mines in Indonesia to the robo tized mail-order trade to the ominous data centers of cloud computing. The AI development of recent years and the related production of smartphones, laptops, etc. are leading to a major impact on the biosphere, our work, and the human being. Anatomy of an AI tries to reveal this process, which is hard to comprehend in its entirety.