AI: More Than Human

Barbican’s latest major exhibition, titled ‘AI: More Than Human’, observes the creative and scientific developments in artificial intelligence, and the relationship between humans and technology. Developed by Barbican International Enterprises (BIE), it is the follow-up to the 2017’s ‘Into The Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction’.


The exhibition opens with historical examples of AI, including the works of Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, and films like Blade Runner and Metropolis. They are contrasted with the Jewish legend of the golem – a mud being created to defend a community in 16th century Prague. The story has many parallels with Mary Shelley’s seminal gothic novel Frankenstein, which also makes an appearance.

The 2016 computer program AlphaGo, which historically beat a human player at complex Ancient Chinese strategy game ‘Go’, forms a prominent section of the exhibition. Lawrence Lek’s ‘2065’ allows visitors to explore a dystopia where humans exclusively play video games. And Endless Evolution features Massive Attack’s ‘Mezzanine’ encoded into artificial DNA and housed within spray cans that each contain over one million copies of the record.

‘AI: More Than Human’ is part of Life Rewired, a 2019 season exploring what it means to be human in the face of world-altering technology. The exhibition is on display at the Barbican until 26th August 2019.