The Architecture of the Inhuman. A dialogue with machines

Winter Semester 2017/18

MA Course: Contemporary Art Production
Number: 155.802
Institute for Contemporary Art
Faculty of Architecture
Graz University of Technology

Since 1990, the annual Loebner Prize for artificial intelligence has given an award for the most human-like chatterbots worldwide. Using Alan Turing papers as a basis and the Turing test as a standard for judging, humans decide which answers are the most ‘human-like’, bringing back the question “Can a Machine Think?” while measuring the intellect of the machines. Together with machine vision and speech recognition, seemingly simple chatterbots are the important part of an “ideal intelligent machine”. The current promise is that artificial intelligence will become very present in architecture, supporting the working process, solving problems that would otherwise take days, making environmental simulations and analysis of the spatial network on many levels. However, the course ‘The Architecture of Inhuman. A dialogue with machines’ does not seek to teach new tools or programming software. The course aims to understand computational logic, question the premises of its production and implementation, and thus build new tools for understanding contemporarity.

This course is conceived for students from both the Faculty for Architecture and the Faculty of Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering of the TU Graz. Suggested common ground between the two disciplines is adherence to a set of very strict rules, here understood as algorithms, grounding elements of today’s world. Through a dialogue that challenges artificial intelligence on the one hand, and reveals the ideological and technical systems behind it on the other, participants will explore political, economic and social issues (gender, race, class) in contemporary society. What kind of question is impossible to answer? What kind of reasoning is not computable? Where are the limits of those conversations?


Prof. Dr. Corinna Bath
Gender and technology, Technical University Braunschweig
Institute for Signal Processing and Speech Communication, TU Graz

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Maass
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Institute of Theoretical Computer Science, TU Graz

Dr. Barbara Schuppler
Speech communication and modelling
Institute for Signal Processing and Speech Communication, TU Graz

Mohammad Salemy
Curator, artist and critic on art and technology
The New Centre for Research & Practice

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