The Anatomy Lessons / Joerg Hurschler (CH), Photo: Joerg Hurschler

The Anatomy Lessons

HSLU – Lucerne School of Art and Design (CH)

Artificial intelligences are being created in research to find out how human consciousness works and what relationship humans have with the universe. The goal is to create an AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) that can understand and learn every human intellectual task. To this end, various modules are currently being built that perform individual tasks of human consciousness: Text-to-Image AIs, GPT-4, Deep Dream, Deep Fake, etc. In the best case, they can be combined to form a general intelligence. These studies and creations pose several questions to me: What is the ethical responsibility of humans for artificially created intelligences? What if a consciousness is created that is conscious but may not be on the same level as humans or function differently from human consciousness? What ideal human being would serve as a model for an AGI? Why? Who sets the criteria?

Based on these questions, I have created a situation reminding of the painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman (1656) by Rembrandt. For me, this painting symbolizes current research, which tries to produce a functioning AGI and in the process demonstrates the intermediate steps to the public.

The Anatomy Lessons

Joerg Hurschler (CH)

What is the human responsibility for artificially created (partial) intelligences? How would an ideal AGI be designed? What societal values and norms will it be guided by?

Joerg Hurschler (CH)

Joerg Hurschler, born in Switzerland, lives and works between Paris, Zürich and the cyberspace. He studied video and Ars in Film at the Lucerne School of Art and Design, and at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea. His artistic work lies at the intersection of 3D animation, video, video games and sculpture. He explores the interdependence between the physical and virtual worlds.


Founded in 1877, the Lucerne School of Art and Design today has more than 700 students benefiting from its strong expertise in research and development, making it one of Switzerland’s leading providers of degree programs in art, design and film. We deliver innovation and identify niches; we create images, narratives, products, strategies and processes that provide meaning and add cultural, economic and social value.


Mentors: Robert Müller, Christina Zimmermann