Artificial Intelligence

IAQOS
Intelligenza Artificiale di Quartiere Open Source

IAQOS brings a new infrastructure,  Artificial Intelligence, to neighbourhoods for Cultural Acceleration, through Art and Design.

This project is promoted and supported by the Direzione Generale Arte e Architettura contemporanee e Periferie urbane (DGAAP) of Italy’s MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali).
The IAQOS project was awarded the “PeriferIA Intelligente” grant, promoted by DGAAP.

A young AI for the neighbourhood

What happens when Artificial Intelligence – a new infrastructure, such as electricity, transport, water – arrives in a neighbourhood? How can we build new imagination for it, in the community? How do we take responsibility together, for how it changes our lives, and our access to opportunities, to our rights and freedoms?

We are literally surrounded by AI – Artificial Intelligence –: in our smartphones, appliances, homes, offices, and in the services and platforms we use every day.

Yet AI remains something that is separated from us, something opaque that we don’t and can’t understand, and around which it is very hard to start shared, social, cultural reflections about the ways in which AI – and the data and computation that drive it – affect our existence and our possibility to access opportunities, rights and freedoms.

A new baby in the neighbourhood

IAQOS is a new subject in the neighbourhood. It is a little digital kid and, as such, the whole neighbourhood can imagine to take care of it, to feed it with the “right” data and information, and to understand together how the kid will relate and interact with the people and organizations in the neighbourhood.

Shared Responsability

IAQOS puts AI at the center of society, finding new ways in which communities can meaningfully discuss and perform the implications of data and computation. The metaphor of the “new baby” opens up the possibility for a novel approach: IAQOS is one of us, it’s everybody’s child, feeding on the data that the whole community decides to give to it.

An Open Source Infrastructure

IAQOS is Open Source. This means that it is radically different from the AIs to which we’re currently exposed: its algorithms are open and transparent, and accessible for inspection and modification. The data it feeds on is decided by the community. Its outputs are accessible to everyone, and everyone can participate to the discussion about them and about their implications.

An inclusive education program

How can citizens, students, schools, artists, designers, children, elderly, associations and organizations use AI?

IAQOS includes educational experiences and processes which are designed for everyone in the neighbourhood, to reflect, understand, create and use AI in their daily lives.

Relational Technologies

AI is potentially the most relational of our current technologies. The possibility to use it to be able to deal with different languages (IAQOS can currently deal with 54 languages), and to open the way for forms of natural interaction through spoken word, gestures, body and images, is a crucial asset which communities and organizations can use to promote better, more inclusive, multi cultural relational ecosystems in neighbourhoods and territories.

A multi-cultural approach

The first instance of the IAQOS project takes place in the Torpignattara neighbourhood in Rome, which is possibly the most multicultural neighbourhood in the city, and is focused on activities at the Pisacane primary school, in which students have a very diverse cultural background.

Art as a strategy

Art is a catalys for social imagination. What can be the role of AI in a neighbourhood?
Through artistic approaches it is possible to develop artifacts with a high communication and accessibility potential that are iconic and thought provoking.
These are complex topics which are impossible to address without metaphors, aesthetics and empathic and emotional dimensions.

Education as a space for possibility

An education action which is designed to progressively bring people and organization closer to these issues and technologies, supporting them in understanding their implications, and in conceiving and developing meaningful use cases scenarios for schools, associations, creativity and expression.

A community action to explore the ways in which it is posible to take care of an AI, of the data which it collects, of how it processes them, promoting a commons-based approach to bring better relationships in multicultural neighbourhoods.

AI as culture

The cultural valence and potential of projects such as IAQOS is outstanding

  • to address digital, cultural and education divides around issues of data and computation
  • to confront with separation: we are surrounded by AIs but we’re completely separated from them; we don’t and can’t know anything about them because they are designed to sit beyond our perception and possibility for comprehension
    to confront with the extractive character of current data and AI industries, and with the implications for our rights and freedoms
  • to enable and value the processes for social imagination and construction around these themes
  • to question the “who observes who” paradigms of our technological society: a classical matter of debate from the domains of art becomes an element of fundamental importance for our capacity to comprehend how our opportunities to benefit from our rights and freedoms transform, today

 

X