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© Videoanimation (Detail): "Rank" by Stefanie Sixt, https://www.sixt-sense.org/, Sound: Markus Mehr. See the whole video on https://www.sixt-sense.org/rank


The digital age is getting old. What initially entered the field of postmodern society as a rapid technological advance and caused massive changes has now become the new normal. Terms such as publicity and privacy have been redefined, while automation and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the world of work. Even in the arts, creative machines have arrived. The dossier addresses the ethical, social and political issues associated with this development, as well as ways of dealing creatively with them.

Artistic, artificial, art?

Can machines be independently creative and artistically active? Are works created by artificial intelligence short-lived marginal phenomena of a mechanized society or the future of creative development? In this section, our authors present some of these AI artists and works of art, go on a shopping tour in the Darknet and discuss questions of culture and of loss of control.

Your friend the robot

The prototypical robot from old science fiction movies was a marginal phenomenon of the genre, an unlikely vision. That has changed. The development of artificial intelligence has progressed so far that it has become necessary to discuss how closely humanity wishes to approach the crafty machines and which ethical issues might be relevant in dealing with them. It is important to look into this future, as Prof. Metzinger warns in an interview - "when the first robot demands civil rights, it is too late".

Human neurons in brain Human neurons in brain | © Colourbox

Tomorrow's worries

The new possibilities of the digital age also have a price. Data security has become one of the most important challenges of the time. An unregulated flood of information has not always led to a pluralism of opinions, rather to fierce polarization, with targeted misinformation also playing a role. Society and state are required to take measures to protect individual and collective freedom. How about, for example, the formulation of digital fundamental rights, and what would an efficient data protection look like in the future?

Robotic neurons in brain Robotic neurons in brain | © Colourbox

The future is now!

The availability and transparency of information as well as the emergence of new marketplaces, distribution channels and public spaces have enriched modern society with many facets. There is an ongoing pioneering spirit in social media and existing offerings are constantly being expanded, as shown by the development of sharing and streaming offerings, alternative currencies and purely computer-generated media art. The future is now - or tomorrow at the latest.