How do art, technology and politics come together? [SXSW 2021] Bigumigu

The pandemic accelerates digitization and technology plays an increasingly important role in our lives; new technologies are not as enthusiastic as before. There has been a change in the perception of technology. People view technology with suspicion, distrust, and fear in this age of artificial intelligence. How is it possible to change this perception and make technology more human? Can technology, art and politics come together? The SXSW 2021 session “A New Digital Humanism: Art + Technology + Politics” focuses on these questions and looks at how interdisciplinary collaborations can be established.

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With the aim of establishing a link between Austria and Silicon Valley in terms of business, technology and innovation Open Austriadirected by Clara Blume; It brought together representatives from the world of art, technology and politics. In the session; Ars Electronica included art director Gerfried Stocker (art), Salesforce vice president Eric Loeb (technology) who focuses on cloud-based CRM solutions, and US Ambassador to the European Union Stavros Lambridinis (politician). Session; a global platform that brings together people from the world of artists and technology, also supported by Open Austria. The gridfollowed by the eVe awards ceremony, which was presented for the first time this year.

A more humane technology

One of the main topics of the session was the humanization of technology. Here, while the words “human” and “humanitarian” were heavily emphasized, it was emphasized that technology is always human but not always human. While it is mentioned that the growing vision of technology in the world today is full of doubts, this is “will technology take my place?” and fears such as losing control and freedom of choice. For this reason, the need to put people at the center of technology has been repeatedly asserted.

Stating that technology should enrich our lives, not our pockets, Stocker; This is because technology is no longer as exciting as it used to be. Tech companies need to stop focusing on profits and focus on people. However, today, some large companies manage the digital world, which should be a common space, there is a monopoly. Protecting that space is important because if we want people to take risks, they have to play in an area they trust, Stocker says.

Parallel to this issue, Eric Loeb; He also touched on the need to approach technology from different perspectives, for better or for worse. Underlining that technology is now at the center of our lives, Loeb; He said that both users and producers of technology must properly understand the current and potential impact of technology and policies must be produced accordingly.

European Union and Technology

Speaking of politics… Ambassador Lambridinis summarized the European vision of technology within the framework of 3 fundamental principles. The first principle was that citizens of democratic countries should observe and evaluate what their states do. Of course, there is not much talk of democracy in countries where states monitor and monitor citizens. Therefore, according to this principle, technology should be used for purposes such as obtaining information from the citizen; not the other way around. The second principle is that innovation must be something positive and important. The key issue here is that this innovation has a positive impact on human life. The third is the right to personal privacy. In short, the EU’s perspective on technology starts from a framework focused on human rights and democratic values.

Lambridinis, in this direction, brought to the digital world by the EU. two legislative proposals also played. One of them is the Digital Services Law, which focuses on protecting consumers, and the other is the Digital Markets Law, which aims to protect the fair and competitive nature of the digital market. Both regulations aim to create a safe and transparent digital space that respects basic human rights.

Art and technology collaboration

Another focus of the session was the collaborations and alliances that can be established between art, technology and politics. Although these three seem separate categories from each other, it is very valuable that they come together to provide the “digital humanism” we mentioned earlier, because art has great power to bring people together. For this reason, it is very important that people from different disciplines work together in a framework of respect and openness.

To do this, he explains that since it is necessary to move artists from two different disciplines out of their comfort areas to an environment where they can experiment and take risks, and because here they embrace the unknown, they will reach the same level of vision. . So, Stocker says, if two people fall into the water, only then will they hold hands and look for a way out, not one in the boat and one in the water.

The Grid Award

Art and technology One platform that brings together is The Grid. Grid’s first prize, eVe, will be awarded to the AI ​​Storytelling project, which brings together European author Daniel Kehlmann and American scientist Bryan McCann on artificial intelligence. The project shows how traditional art and artificial intelligence technology can create something magical together.

Visual: SXSW

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