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Warsaw. “The future is today: the digital brain?”. New exhibition at the Copernicus Science Center

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On the 11th anniversary of the founding of the Copernicus Science Center, a new, permanent exhibition was opened: “The future is today: the digital brain?”. – It touches the presence of digital technologies in our lives – personal and social, but also makes us look for an answer to the question of what future we want – said the curator of the exhibition, Anna Skrzypek.

Learning neural network. Autonomous car. A robot that will always catch a falling phone. Escaping shadows. Algorithms that compose music and create images. The exhibition “The Future is Today: Digital Brain?” urges to ask questions about the limits of trust, privacy, intimacy, a sense of security, comfort, and about new definitions of art and creativity.

– The technological solutions that we witness in everyday life – or those that will appear in a moment – are only to be a starting point for thinking about what future we want – said Anna Skrzypek, the curator of the exhibition. She noted that the creators of the exhibition did not intend to rate the presented exhibits – to suggest which technological solutions are good and which are bad.

– We want visitors to form their own opinion. Many of these exhibits force us to ask questions without suggesting an answer – said Skrzypek.

Four groups of exhibits

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The exhibition has been divided into four groups of exhibits, which are arranged according to the problematic issues. The first group focuses on artificial intelligence – visitors learn from it what the learning process of artificial intelligence looks like. The second group of exhibits deals with the topic of trust in technology. As part of confidence testing, visitors can hand over their phone to the machine and watch it be tossed and grabbed by it.

The exhibition presents a model of an autonomous car – Mercedes F015. According to the curator, this is an example of a technological solution that shows that legal solutions do not keep up with the development of technology. – “It is not known who is to be legally responsible for the accident caused – machine constructor, or maybe a software developer?” – points out Anna Skrzypek.

The third group of exhibits focuses on the problem of art combined with artificial intelligence. Visitors have at their disposal a machine which, based on the image captured by the camera, will create a picture similar to those painted by Vincent van Gogh. The question of copyright in such a situation remains an open question.

– Who is the creator in the digital world? Can artificial intelligence be considered a full creator? – asks Anna Skrzypek.

Relationship with technology

The exhibition is closed by a group of exhibits focused on the subject – “relations”. – Here we talk about the most personal relationship with technology. We show that there are already tools – robots that can support people in working on themselves and be companions in everyday life – says Skrzypek. As an example, he gives a Japanese robot – a holographic partner who will remind you of unread e-mails and turn on the light before you return home so that you do not feel lonely.

Technology also enters the area of ​​the sacred. The Santo exhibit is designed to accompany you in prayer. It was designed by a Catholic university in Peru. It is intended for elderly people who cannot go to church.

– The robot can be asked a question or told how a person feels on a given day, and he will find the appropriate passage from the Holy Scriptures or quote the words of Pope Francis – says Anna Skrzypek.

– The End of Life Machine – is an exhibit that closes the exhibition. Her task is to accompany people in the last moments of life – she strokes the hands of a dying person and delivers soothing messages. Bearing in mind the experience of a pandemic, during which people often died alone, it may be worth taking a closer look at this machine, concludes Skrzypek.

The curator admitted that the exhibition is a manifestation of the maturity of the institution, which is just celebrating its 11th birthday, and was previously associated with showing science in the form of fun at permanent exhibitions.

– This exhibition shows our evolution. We kept the exhibition that allows you to experiment and experience nature yourself, but decided to refresh our goals and show that our profile of interest is shifting towards the future and social perception of technology. It is not only about the readiness to adopt new technologies, but also how we want to use it – said the director of the Copernicus Science Center, Robert Firmhofer.

Main photo source: Rafał Guz, PAP



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