Burning Man to Exhibit Artificial Intelligence Interaction through Social Discovery Ventures

August 26, 2015

2:00 pm

Artificial Intelligence makes its way to Burning Man, thanks to Social Discovery Ventures.

Social Discovery Ventures, headquartered in New York, Moscow, and Hong Kong was the recipient of an international grant, allowing them the privilege to showcase OracleTang at Burning Man 2015.

The art installation will be introduced and displayed in the Midway section. Burning Man has received awards for its unique art and has had attendants such as Lady Gaga. The unique art installations and celebrity attendance has made Burning Man one of the most anticipated social and technology events of the year. The exhibition of this innovative art and technology is a way for attendees to show their gratitude to the Black Rock City Community.

The Burning Man Festival is not a new development. The festival has been around since 1986, when Larry Harvey and Jerry James brought their wooden figure to Baker Beach. A crowd gathered to watch it burn. Since that time the festival has evolved into a more artful event. Yet, the wooden man still burns as is custom.

The Burning Man Festival is focused around 10 principles:

  • Radical Inclusion
  • Gifting
  • Decommodification
  • Radical Self-reliance
  • Radical Self- Expression
  • Communal Effort
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Leaving No Trace
  • Participation
  • Immediacy

According to a press release, the mission of the Social Discovery Ventures through their participation at Burning Man is to “Change the paradigm of art from a commodified object to an interactive, participatory, shared experience of creative expression,” said Social Discovery Ventures’ owner, Dmitry Volkov, who is an entrepreneur and holds a Ph.D. in philosophy.

“Art brings us to life. It helps us to express our moods we are in. Whether it is happy or sad, or rather it is the situation we are in at the time. Our brain has a mind of its own regardless of our ‘apelike’ tendencies. Where we cannot copy our intelligence in a machine, we can simulate these intellectual qualities,” says Volkov.

Social Discovery Ventures has developed the artificial intelligence needed for this OracleTang through a master plan from Russian contemporary artist Oleg Kulik. For this art installation, Kulik built upon the technology which was already available and modified and introduced new methodologies in science and technology.

Unlike the mythic intelligence of Hollywood, where the artificial intelligence is humanoid or cyborg in its design and has the equivalent of human thoughts and reasoning which in no way shine any light upon actual artificial intelligence developments, the artificial intelligence for the OracleTang has limited but vast intelligence and reactions with humans.

OracleTang, as the artificial intelligence ape is called, will be able to interact with people, though on a limited scale. It will be able to react to our moods and motions as well as present its own set of moods and emotions including humor, sadness, and anger. The apelike mindset will be used as the artificial intelligence will observe people passing by, “scan” them and interact. The machine will swing from one person to another and determine which people are worth more time and effort than others. Plus, responding to other people and their gestures, words, and different languages around the world enables this exhibit to bring technology and social interaction together. It gets to examine the world, connects with the modern society and the natural world and then reacts upon that stimulus.

The apelike mentality of man is mimicked in the artificial intelligence. This is done by reacting with the controlled environment in which the exhibition will be housed. Not only does the OracleTang react to the world around him, but he is also able to understand the difference between real world and artificial or “fake” scenarios. Finally, the OracleTang is able to determine the differences between different people.

“Where we are not at the stage of the intelligence being able to reason and react as complex as a human, the OracleTang is far more advanced than a great majority of other ‘AI’ intelligence in that it can offer a level of reasoning and reaction based not upon ‘input’ in the traditional since, be that by coding and from direct human manipulation, but on reactive input, being that of spontaneous simulation and data,” said Volkov.

Social Discovery Ventures welcomes guests of the Burning Man Festival this year to visit the OracleTang exhibit and ask questions. Social Discovery Ventures is dedicated to the advancement of technology through the integration of science, social media and interactions, and artistic/creative expression.

Featured Image Credit: The Huffington Post / Matt Schultz

Did you like this article?

Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!

Sorry about that. Try these articles instead!

Josh has over 12 years of experience in the tech industry. His interests include data visualization, big data, and analysis as well as the intersection of journalism and technology.