Artificial Intelligence, The Third Industrial Revolution

Artificial Intelligence has been a hot topic as of late, especially when it comes to how it will continue to impact the value of the individual within the work sphere.

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How do we maintain humanness within our given industries while machines become and continue to become an integral part of how we run our businesses day to day?

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Initially, the hairs on my arms stood up as visions from Terminator flicked projector- like through my mind. Reaffirming that the necessity for creativity to be at the forefront of what we do, whether in the business realm or in our everyday living has never been more essential.

When computers are able to perform the daily tasks of the individual, more efficiently and effectively it becomes vital to take a step back and ask ourselves.

If I need to spend less time and energy on day-to-day tasks, where is it that I can be of most value, what is it that makes me valuable and how can I cultivate this to meet the demands of a changing world?

During a clay run to Northcote Pottery, I stumbled upon Melbourne based ceramic artists’ Ben Landau and Lucile Scaillano who have found a delicate fusion between human and artificial Intelligence through the 3D printing of ceramics.

Through a residency at Northcote Pottery they combined human skill and experience with machine precision to create something quite sublime.

Ben poses the below questions in reflection of their project.

“3D printers, 3D scanners and laser cutters make up the tools of the current ‘third industrial revolution’. How will this disrupt the position of the craftsman and handmade objects in the next 20 years? Will every maker have a 3D printer? How can we protect the ancient and traditional knowledge of making, while keeping the door open to new opportunities 3D printing creates?

We developed a 3d printer to print with clay, but primarily intended to combine the strengths of 3D printing with the characteristics of other ceramic manufacturing techniques. We printed whole pieces, and also added parts to slip cast pieces. We combined different techniques, so we printed shapes which couldn’t be cast, and cast shapes which couldn’t be printed. For instance, a slip cast cup was transformed and improved with 3D printed parts – adding a handle or changing it into a tea pot. To do this, we analyzed typologies of ceramic tableware into base elements (cup) and added elements (handle). Then experimented with different manufacturing techniques on each element.”

-Ben Landrau

I love how Ben refers to this as the “third industrial revolution” because it is indeed that.

As we have always done in the past, we will no doubt evolve as a race to embrace our ever-changing environment man-made or other. 

As we do so, we will need to find a way to harness our innate creative potential and ability to see the Grey between the black and white, we will need to explore the territory of ethics with vigour and purpose.

We possess, as humans, consciousness- our ability and inclination toward that which is beautiful and true. That which is irreproducible, that which must be felt and touched with some other part of ourselves which cannot be replicated by a machine.

I wonder if the increase of artificial intelligence will in fact illicit a human revolution, where we are faced with the naked truth that there is in fact something sacred about our humanity, something worth preserving, something which goes beyond what we can see and touch. I wonder.  

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