“Reason brings the truth to light.” This programmatic sentence characterized the Age of Enlightenment. Now we use probability distributions to approach reality. This refers to large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT (OpenAI) or Bard (Google), which are becoming central sources of information. An LLM is trained with massive bodies of text. It’s trained to predict upcoming words. In doing so, it picks up the statistical contingencies, the very complex higher-order relationships between words. This leads to the question: Does probability take the place of truth?
JKU is addressing this emerging epochal shift jointly with AI Institutes, the LIFT_C (Linz Institute of Transformative Change), the ZdW (Zirkus des Wissens [Circus of Knowledge]) and its new spin-off EUMETA (European School of Metaverse). At the JKU LLM School, visitors will receive a crash course on the technology behind ChatGPT and Bard. In addition to workshops with JKU AI experts, the new JKU spin-off EUMETA will make its first appearance and co-host the Festival Symposium over two days.
At the invitation of JKU, the internationally influential Center of Constructive Communication (CCC) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will enrich the festival for the first time this year with its great expertise in the field of current social and mass media ecosystems. CCC will offer insight into its work in the form of an exhibition and two workshops (Nature of LLMs and Tech / LLMs for constructive communication).
In addition, MIT spin-off Cortico will present its Local Voices Network (LVN) platform. LVN is a unique “human listening + machine learning” system that combines the ancient techniques of human dialogue and deep listening (through facilitated small-group conversations) with the analytical power of modern AI (through tools for identifying patterns/themes across conversations). The result is a system that captures, at scale, public sentiment with a level of authenticity and nuance that surveys and focus groups cannot match.
As never before, the Circus of Knowledge (Zirkus des Wissens – ZdW) will be present at the festival this year. In A.I.–A Punch Intervenes it takes up the topic of LLMs in an omnipresent anarchic wicked puppet show (for adults and kids) with Puppetficial Intelligence. At the same time, ZdW invites Rimini Protokoll to a guest performance with the highly acclaimed production Uncanny Valley. This explores the question of whether a robot can credibly portray a human being on stage.
ZdW will also show the only computer-animated film by artist William Kentridge from the 1990s that has rarely been seen in the world and contextualize it with AI-generated art. Festival visitors will also have the chance to engage in conversation with William Kentridge himself about truth in art via video feed from Venice. Another offer is made by the Circus of Knowledge together with Times’s Up, the Linz Laboratory for the construction of experimental and experiential situations. In the AIFutures workshop, visitors can explore their future with AI.
Is Artificial Intelligence truly “intelligent”? Can a non-living thing – like a machine – become conscious? Or are these just our own projections? Could something “artificially” created even begin to think on its own, become creative, even develop an imagination?
William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Deborah Bell
Easing the Passing (of the Hours)* (1992, Betacam SP, created in collaboration with Deborah Bell and Robert Hodgins) is a computer animation depicting a day in the life of a fictional dictator named the General. The video satirizes the daily routines of a brutal authoritarian despot.
As part of this three-hour “futuring” exercise, participants will use their imagination of near-term future scenarios to address the promises and threats – along with subsequent tangents and obstacles – posed by ideas of artificial intelligence.
MIT Center for Constructive Communication (CCC), Belén Saldías, Jad Kabbara, Deb Roy
How well can LLMs represent my values? How, what, and from where do LLMs get their learning abilities? During two independent sessions, we will address a full spectrum of questions.
Large Language Models (LLMs): Imagining a Technology-Assisted Citizens’ Assembly to Create a More Inclusive and Constructive Democratic Process
MIT Center for Constructive Communication (CCC), Deb Roy, Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou, Claudia Chwalisz
This workshop will explore just how we can harness the power of technology to create democratic spaces where people can actively listen to one another, find common ground to address social challenges, and rebuild their trust in institutions.
Stefan Kaegi, Helgard Haug, Meinhard Lukas
In 2000, Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel established the theatre-label Rimini Protokoll and since then, they have worked under this name in different configurations. Piece-by-piece, they expand on the possibilities of theater to create new perspectives on reality.
William Kentridge, Meinhard Lukas
William Kentridge is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. Famous for charcoal drawings, prints, sculptures and films, his work bears witness to the history of his country of origin, South Africa.