ai4a. Artificial Intelligence: Foundations, Art and Politics
Online Artificial Intelligence Lab for artists, designers, researchers and anyone who needs it. It was developed by Denis Protopopov.
Artificial intelligence beats us at chess and go, recommends music and TV shows to us, diagnoses diseases, recognizes our faces for state institutions and law enforcement agencies, draws pictures, optimizes work in factories and offices, answers spam calls for us, controls military combat drones, recognizes the song that is currently playing, but only no one knows how it works and what it all means.
In the laboratory, we will study what artificial intelligence and neural networks are; how they have become an integral part of platform capitalism and a carrier of racial, gender and other prejudices from being the way of automating thinking; why artificial intelligence is important to consider through the prism of feminism and ecology; how it affects the city; what is Queer AI; how and why making art using AI algorithms. To do this, we will read and discuss important and interesting texts, create chatbots, train neural networks to generate text, sound and images, and watch various art projects.
→Lab Program
1. Artificial intelligence: automation of thinking
2. How machines learn and why data is subjective
3. Chatbots and text generators
4. Big Data, Recommendation systems and Platform Capitalism
5. Computer vision: from text recognition to combat drones
6. City
7. Ecology
8. Biases in AI systems
9. Data Feminism
10. Queering AI
→How will the lab go?
The laboratory will be held in a mixed format: this means that all materials, texts and tutorials for tools will be posted in the laboratory's telegram chat, and as part of online meetings we will discuss texts and study tools together. All meetings are optional, you can even not attend them at all and move at your own pace – the lab materials are self-sufficient and will remain in the chat forever, as well as the opportunity to discuss them with me and other participants.
→What do I need to participate?
Participation in the laboratory does not require programming experience and knowledge in the field of mathematics and computer science. A mobile device (smartphone or tablet) will be enough to study materials and participate in joint meetings. You will need a computer to work with practical tools. It is important to mention that all the texts that we will study in the laboratory are written in English. But they will be accompanied by an edited machine translation and a brief abstract.
→Who made it?
Denis Protopopov, an artist and researcher working at the intersection of technology, media, visual and performative arts, created and conducts this online laboratory. He is a co-author of the Digital Theater Workshop, developed and conducted lectures, courses and workshops for the Strelka Institute, the Masters School, the Photo Department, the Laboratory of New Media on the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater. Denis's artistic works have been presented at exhibitions in the Hermitage, Sevkabel, VDNKh, the Museum of Communications, Pushkinskaya-10 and other institutions.

"The laboratory made it possible in a short time to consider AI from different angles — from understanding how it works to practical application and the ethical consequences of this application. The materials are very well chosen — they are quite understandable even for those who were far from this sphere, and there were very interesting examples from art. It was also super that you can always ask something in a chat or at a consultation! The only advice is to keep up with the rhythm of the laboratory and attend all calls, it is better to calculate the load and free up your schedule."

"I am very grateful for the laboratory! She gave a lot of new things, a very wide range of knowledge in simple language, which was important for me. I advise everyone who wants to dive into the world of artificial intelligence from different entry points!"

"Probably the most valuable thing about this course for me is that it opens up a whole fan of tools with their capabilities in a variety of contexts at once. It went very far that the texts often echoed each other with mentions and references, which helped indirectly to constantly scroll through what had already been passed in my head. At each stage, there is so much concern about the participants' workflow: translations of all texts, the language in which terminology and the operation of tools were explained (my inner student rejoiced). Sometimes there was confusion, but everything was made up for by lightning responsiveness in the chat. I was a little lacking in some more research about the Russian context (for example, about tracking systems in the subway and arrests, about monitoring schoolchildren, well, or something else that really works now and how exactly near us), although now relying on the course grid it will be easy to build up your theoretical and practical base. So I would also attribute the lacunae to the pros. For me, it was the most comfortable learning experience and atmospheric in terms of materials and their quantity and presentation, very skillfully structured. A lot of practical things have really become clear, and now it's not so hard to go deeper into the study (I can now run notebooks in the collaboration!). Not everything was in time along the way due to the days of moving, but if I lived in a slightly more relaxed mode, I would say that the timing-for-the-amount-of-materials is perfect."

"Once again, I will say that I am zero in the digital world, it was scary to fit into any discussions, although Denis created a very pleasant and safe environment. A lot of thoughts about authorship and co-creation with AI. Once again I realized in what vacuum I exist in terms of respect, stereotypes and awareness."

"thank you, it was very cool! I wanted to study this topic a little myself in the summer and immediately realized that it was quite difficult to find understandable and useful sources, so the laboratory is exactly what I needed!"