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A critical staging of Artificial Intelligence as an extractive tool for design

Leif-Erik Schmitt

In »Primal A.I.« A204 takes a closer look at the contemporary emergence of artificial intelligence. Different machine learning models are used to establish a symbolic link between A.I. and its human origin by creating conceptual tools of extraction and labour through and for artificial intelligence.


Behind the mystical phrase ‘artificial intelligence’ one finds a global machine that is neither artificial nor intelligent. In fact, its origins are of a very human nature. The development process of artificial intelligence begins with sedimentary rocks that are partially extracted from the earth by manual labour before they are processed into technology metals through chemical and physical separation processes. The further path to the development of artificial intelligence is paved by multiple levels of exploitation and extraction.

Therefore, should artificial intelligence not rather be critically illuminated and seen as the result of extractive and exploitative human practices?


In »Primal A.I.«, artificial intelligence is used to critically stage its own origin. Three conceptual tools emphasise the extraction of raw materials and the manual labour involved.
The tools were created through experimental work with different machine learning models, aiming to create a novel process that supports a collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence in the creation of physical artefacts.

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About A204

A204 is a design collective from Cologne, Germany. Founded in 2022, the reasearch-based works of A204 are positioned at the intersection of speculative storytelling, real-life product development and phygital 3D-Art. In their projects A204 works across the disciplines of conceptual design, scenography and product design.

Leif-Erik Schmitt

Leif-Erik Schmitt


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