Doing Nothing with AI 1.0

Emanuel Gollob

23 May 2019

Interactive AI installation. Use of generative AI (GAN), real-time robotics, EEG measurements, foam, and toothpicks

In times of constant hustle and bustle, technological overload, and a demand for constant attention to information, the idea of doing nothing is not very popular. It is often perceived as a provocation and associated with wasting time. People always seem to be in a hurry, filling their calendars, looking for distraction and the subjective feeling of control, unable to tolerate even the briefest periods of inactivity.

The Doing Nothing with AI interactive project aims to address the misconception that confuses hustle and bustle with productivity or even efficiency. When we are mindful, there is not much point in checking our email every ten minutes or touching the screen every time we have to wait five minutes at the station.

To encourage states of mental inactivity, the artist has created this neuro-reactive installation, which includes measurements of visitors’ brain activity and a robotic choreography that responds in real time. After a short period of adaptation, a generative machine learning model (GAN) gradually learns to move the sculpture to calm the user’s mental activity. Everything happens while a parametric control system responds to each user, choosing the best option among more than 4 million possible choreographies.

With the collaboration of Kuka Robots