Fake it 'til you make it

What is fake and what is real? Will robots rule the future world? And how does internet dating affect our chances to meet our soulmates? The fake it ‘til you make it-experts guided us through the somewhat confusing times we live in.

The session “Fake It ‘til You Make It” initially caught my attention as it is my professional motto. The session was held in the basement stage and was started by Sami Niemälä from Nordkapp who talked about what is real and what is fake in our world that blends different realities together. Another perspective on this fakeness was Chinese recreation of known products, which in their culture is considered like making new fake-real products. Very interesting about Niemälä’s presentation was the notion that sci-fi films, books etc., inspires reality and vice versa. How cool? That is why some interface of Tesla cars can resemble cars from the original Blade Runner movie.

Sami Niemälä’s presentation was followed by Elisabeth Jochum, Associate Professor in the Research Laboratory for Art and Technology at Aalborg University. Her fields of interest are robots, theatre, visual arts and the merger between these. Throughout her presentation Jochum pointed out a number of interesting thoughts, especially that robots with human features are not yet as developed as we often think. Well functioning merging of AI and human features/coordination is yet unachieved. The robots we see in media are often pre programmed and showcase prepared performances. However, Jochum wanted us to question something else. In today’s reality, some humanoid robots (e.g. ’’Sophi’’) were granted citizenship. But what makes a human human? What is personhood? Citizenship? Is it enough to mix veridical faces and a program? The consequences of these actions are yet unclear, but they raise important questions about human rights.

The session ended with Lina Maria Manheimer, who is interested in Tinder in other ways than most people. She made a documentary film called Parning (’’Mating’’ in English) where she followed a couple of Tinder users and their relationships for a year. Manheimer is interested in the way we portray ourselves on the Tinder platform, and how the never ending demand and supply of possible partners has changed romantic relationships and sex. When physical appearance is the sole factor of choosing someone, could it result in missing someone we would be connected to personally and/or spiritually? 

The performances of the presenting trio were very interesting and informed, definitely more making than faking.

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