Beyond the Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI
By Claudia Schmuckli, Yuk Hui, Janna Keegan, Matteo Pasquinelli, and Tobias Rees
The contemporary uncanny valley is no longer limited to the image of the humanlike robot or “thinking machine.” It is mapped by the inscrutable calculations of algorithms that are designed to mine and analyze humans’ behavior and project it into tradable futures. It is occupied by our statistical doubles, spread across stacks and reflected back to us in a ceaseless visual montage of hot triggers. . . . The uncanny valley of the twenty-first century is emerging as a new form of frontierism whose only goal is ever deeper and more tailored capturing of our attention.
Claudia Schmuckli is curator in charge of contemporary art and programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Yuk Hui is on the faculty at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany, and is a senior research fellow at the Transformations of the Human Program at the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles.
Janna Keegan is assistant curator of contemporary art and programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
Matteo Pasquinelli is professor of media philosophy at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, Germany.
Tobias Rees is the founding director of the Transformations of the Human Program at the Berggruen Institute in Los Angeles, the Reid Hoffman Professor at Parsons School of Design at the New School in New York, and a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Toronto.