The Museum of the Future: Machinic Life was an exhibition at the World Government Summit in Dubai exploring the future impact of current advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence on society. In partnership with the Prime Minister's Office of the UAE, Tellart led futures research, concept development, design, and production for this major strategic endeavor. The exhibition theme of "Machinic Life" showcased how sentient machines could evolve to enhance our bodies and minds, restructure our social and family lives, and manage complex social and economic systems.This transition will present amazing opportunities and challenges for society in the coming years. The exhibition asked the world leaders and general public who attended the exhibition: What does Machinic Life mean for society, for government, and for our families? What conversations should we be having today to prepare for a better tomorrow?
The annual World Government Summit in 2016 marked the first time the public along with national leaders could experience the exhibition during the three day conference. Attendees were able to experience Personal Augmentation, Caring Machines, and Algorithmic Management innovations in the exhibition that Tellart designed and created.
The introduction to the exhibition presented real products and services from the present that suggest pathways to possible futures. From human augmentation to emotive machines and hyper-intelligent decision-making, visitors discover that the present is already surprisingly automated.
How will these technologies evolve in the next 20 years? And how will they impact society?
Key drivers of change, social and technological trends and signals of today can be used to extrapolate future scenarios. These "vectors of change" push our future in new directions, helping us to envision how technology may evolve to enhance ourselves and our society.Objects are emerging which augment our bodies, integrate into our domestic and social life, and help us manage complex social and economic systems. The Museum of the Future presented these vectors and used them to posit a future in which computation and technology are tightly integrated into our governmental systems, our emotional relationships, and our bodies — a "Machinic Life."
As visitors entered the Personal Augmentation Spa, they crossed a threshold from the present to the first of three speculative future scenarios, where they directly experienced a future where body modification is commonplace. The Spa was a cross between a relaxing surgical suite and a high end consumer electronics store: it displayed a range of physical, cognitive and social enhancements that would be on the market in 2035. Visitors were able to peruse upgrades and witness the future of human augmentation through interactive virtual reality experiences.
These experiences included:
EyeShare, by du- A speculative design artifact was a social network that allowed users to broadcast visual and sensory feed to their friends or colleagues, or tune into the vision stream of millions of others.
Moodview- Augmentation boosted users' social intelligence by providing real-time analysis of the emotions of others, offering instant feedback on what to say and how to act for maximum social impact.
NewKnees-A speculative surgical implant that reengineers the lower body's skeletomuscular system to give users the ability to run at superhuman speeds, jump over 5 meters, or lift staggering weight without breaking a sweat.
The second speculative future scenario explored a future in which a household artificial intelligence transforms our domestic lives.vMental health, elderly care, and stress take a huge toll on society each year. As machines become better at reading our emotions, we will naturally employ them to take better care of us.
Playing Room- Visitors were allowed to step inside a home where an artificially intelligent avatar awaits their arrival. This is their domestic AI, which was tasked with helping take care of them and their family. Adopting a role similar to a real child or pet, the AI invited visitors to join in a projection mapped game—promoting fitness at the same time as lifting their mood.
Care Room- A household AI will likely take many forms, seamlessly adapting to context and audience. In the Care Room the AI transformed from a friendly child into a caring adult. It can notice when its human counterpart is still stressed from work and could use a calming massage. As visitors sank into a lounge chair, the room turned into a paradise-like atmosphere with a 360-degree projection and relaxing music. Via a robotic chair, the domestic AI provided a calming massage to help visitors relax and rebalance.
Nurture Room- In the final room of the home, the domestic AI deepened its role as a caretaker and member of the family. It calmly rocked a child's cradle and sang a lullaby while gently illuminating the room like a nightlight.
In 2035, algorithms will be able to draw from petabytes of information to perform complex, long-term scenario planning. They will make trillions of decisions per second and manage complex systems in ways that surpass human comprehension. In the final future scenario at the Museum of the Future 2016 exhibit, visitors entered the nerve center of the UAE HyperMind, a massively interconnected artificial intelligence that was tasked with responsibly managing society. This super-intelligence was fed with billions of data streams from every corner of society, the economy and the natural world. This area asked visitors: How will these machines impact government, society, and the world? What will our role be in giving them objectives and helping to guide them, and how will they help to guide us?
Visitors were asked to step up and be interviewed by the HyperMind.They were asked a range of deep, psychologically probing questions that supplement the machine's understanding of their abilities, disposition, and potential. At the end of the interview, the HyperMind offered visitors a contract for a futuristic job, based on its analysis. It estimated visitors' degree of happiness with the proposed job, their potential contribution to social and economic value, and the relative impact their acceptance will have on the world. Visitors could then choose to accept the contract or decline, left wondering if they have a choice at all.
The Machinic Life exhibit left visitors asking: What role for human agency is there in this future? Who will decide what is right and wrong, and what will be left for human beings? Will we lead our machines, or will we be led by our machines?
The exhibition was part of the 2016 World Government Summit in Dubai. The summit was in February and marked the third year Tellart worked with the UAE Prime Minister's Office.