The Question is; Are We Human? AI and Man Together

By Jo Phillips

Now, human and machine collaborations bring together intelligence to deliver more valuable insights than either could alone. AI and machine learning are unmatched in their ability to extract insights from colossal data sets. But, in most cases, humans remain far better at understanding the context of those insights, and the subtle nuance of their meaning. By bringing the two together, human-machine collaboration marries deep human experience with the scope and scale of analysis delivered by AI. 

Take this example of a laboratory at Harvard Medical School. Sorger and Ben Gyori are brainstorming with a computer. Their goal is to figure out why a powerful melanoma drug stops helping patients after a few months.

This approach to human-computer collaboration if successful, could generate a new approach to understanding the complexities that may change not only how cancer patients are treated, but also how innovation and discovery are pursued in countless other domains.

It seems all over every industry the meeting of humans with machines in a way specifically computer intelligence is commonplace.

This threw up some thoughts for writers Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley. The question Are We Human? is both urgent and ancient and is explored in a new book

Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley offer a multi-layered exploration of the intimate relationship between human and design and rethink the philosophy of design in a multi-dimensional exploration from the very first tools and ornaments to the constant buzz of social media.

The average day involves the experience of thousands of layers of design that reach outside space but also reach deep into our bodies and brains. Even the planet itself has been completely encrusted by design as a geological layer. There is no longer an outside to the world of design.

Colomina’s and Wigley’s field notes offer an archaeology of the way design has gone viral and is now bigger than the world. They range across the last few hundred thousand years and the last few seconds to scrutinize the uniquely plastic relation between brain and artifact. A vivid portrait emerges.

Mark Wigley

Mark Wigley (*1956) is a Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. As an architectural theorist and historian, Wigley explores the intersection of architecture, art, philosophy, culture, and technology. His publications include “Buckminster Fuller Inc.: Architecture in the Age of Radio” (2016), “Cutting Matta-Clark: The Anarchitecture Investigation” (2018) and “Are We Human: Notes on an Archaeology of Design” that he published together with Beatriz Colomina in association with their curation of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial. Wigley was born in New Zealand, where trained as an architect, and lives in New York.

Beatriz Colomina

Beatriz Colomina is an architecture theorist, historian, and curator. She is Professor of Architecture and Director of the Media and Modernity program at Princeton University and has written extensively on questions of architecture, art, sexuality and media. In her research, she traces the psychopathologies of twentieth-century architecture and the huge transformations of privacy and publicity instigated by diagnostic tools from X-Rays to MRIs and beyond.

Design is what makes the human. It becomes the way humans ask questions and thereby continuously redesign themselves.

Are We Human is Available,  Notes on an Archaeology of Design at Lars Muller Publishing

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