Afropixel is issuing an invitation from Senegal to anyone interested in taking part in an informed and open exchange on the relationship between art and technology. At a time when the common good and individual liberties are increasingly under threat across the world, it seems important to us, in Africa, to rethink our ways of life and set some ethical criteria for the development of the technologies (especially artificial intelligence) that are transforming our societies.
For artists, new technologies are extraordinary tools: they can inspire novel ways of creating and provide the means for experimenting with new modes of expression and communication. The volume of digital data has increased dramatically over the past decade. Artificial intelligence, predicated on the statistical analysis of data widely distributed across networks, permits the generation of new forms of artistic creation, whether musical, visual, or textual. Many artists in the African continent, however, have not yet had the opportunity to become familiar with these technologies.
For this reason, and with the help of our correspondents, we thought that it would be important to hear from artists who raise questions about the representations of gender, race, or class in artificial intelligence programmes, challenge the capacity of such software for automatic learning, or use artificial intelligence to make links, test new formats, and/or generate singular narratives. To what extent can these artists’ work help us to reflect on the potential contemporary repercussions of the unrestrained development of these technologies?
Delphine Buysse & Marion Louisgrand Sylla