Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Zhou Song

Artwork Installation

The notion of machine empathy is of particular interest to artist Zhou Song: can robots have consciousness? In what ways will AI transcend from its identifier as “artificial,” toward simply “intelligent” entities—if at all? Will they always be “artificial?” And are they really intelligent or mere agents of their programmers, coders, and in a sense their creators? As an artist exploring these ideas through traditional art methods, including painting and sculpture, Zhou seeks to understand the complexities of human and machine interaction through the contemplative practice of making art. In other words, he doesn’t make robots, but explores answers to these contemporary anxieties through visual language, creating narratives that explore the perceived and actual closeness between machines and humans. AI has and will gradually replace human related functions, effecting human development in several stages. This gradual influence will permeate humans on a social, psychological and cultural level. “This essential change is different from any of the changes humans have experienced before, dissimilar from the evolution of primitive society to the agricultural society, and later to the Industrial Age,” says Zhou.