In the era of artificial intelligence and robotics, is it still possible to determine where nature ends and technology begins? Can we draw such a line when it comes to our body, the natural object that technology imitates the most? These are just some of the questions that are explored in “Cyborn. The dawn of an artificial world”, the exhibition that visitors will find at Salone degli Incanti in Trieste during Science in the City Festival. Art and science came together to investigate such complex and crucial themes: the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) in partnership with the Trieste Municipality, the Trieste International Foundation for Scientific Progress and Freedom (FIT) and the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) presents a spectacular set up thanks to the involvement of Cameranebbia, an Italian art group who creates highly technological interactive installations that use science to create art, and art to discuss science.
Cyborn’s itinerary tells the story of our relationship with technology and scientific breakthroughs, especially the ones that changed our daily lives and the ones that we expect to be changing our future. From X rays, discovered in 1895, to the most recent robotics, with a particular focus on what role the human body plays into this history.
Not so long ago science started to understand how billions of neurons work together to make our brain, and nowadays so much of the most recent and innovative technology mirrors its functionality: artificial intelligence, facial recognition software, imaging technologies, intelligent machines that can read our emotions and predict our intentions. These developments are often perceived as something alien that drive us away from our authentic selves and are met with fear. But they descend from a deep understanding of our nature, which is the foundation of science. On the other hand the same technologies can be mistakenly seen as a solution to all of our problems, even a perfect representation of what the future is going to look like. Which most possibly wont’ be. The next few decades will call for us to reflect on these issues and to take decisions on how to use them with which limits, and to feed this discussion we need all the tools that can be provided not only by science but also art, philosophy and more.
At the exhibition visitors will explore these themes through interactive and immersive installations such as a robotic hand, made by IIT, that analyses and mirrors the movements of the user’s hand or a computer that can detect a person’s facial expressions and replicate them in a different context. The physical space itself, Salone degli Incanti, is also transformed into an artificial scenario with a projected light effect created by the artistic duo Quiet Ensemble.