The 20 Objects of Wonder selected for The Imitation Game offer a unique, chronological insight into the history of artificial intelligence (AI), including the critical advances that have shaped its present configuration, and those that point the way toward its future uses. Seen together, these many images, objects and events reveal the breadth and depth of influence exerted by AI on visual culture.

Early advances in AI laid the foundations for an intimate relationship between humans and machines, and many of the early theorists and researchers actively speculated on fundamental questions of consciousness, creativity and intelligence.

The exponential growth of computer processing capacity in the past twenty years has rapidly accelerated AI research, and widely distributed its use across all fields of human endeavour. The increased availability of moderately priced computers and sophisticated programs with accessible interfaces has further expanded the reach of AI-assisted thinking and making, so that today it is reasonable to say that AI is a critical component of any creative practice.

From Norbert Wiener’s cybernetic moth (1949) to Neri Oxman’s Synthetic Apiary (2020), the evolution of AI is marked by a deep and abiding commitment to research, experimentation and creativity.

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