@t – We Need to Talk, AI: A Comic Contribution

Short Thesis

tl;dr shows: We might not need any more 800 page books on AI. In the installation, we would like to show you a cross-section of our comic panels and experience with you the potential of comics as media to make AI understandable and debatable, beside academic gravity or economic calculations.


AI is both the stuff of Terminator-esque, end-of-humanity scenarios and an invisible but steadily increasing part of our daily lives. AI is suggesting what news we should read, what route to take, or which of our E-Mail is Spam. AI promises us a world of more personalized offers that are cheaper, faster and free from human error. AI per se is a fascinating toolbox with the potential to help us solve some huge problems. But is the cost of AI our replacement, is it mass unemployment, intransparent and cruel algorithms, or autonomous killer robots? Might AI be „the last biggest event in our history“, in the words of Stephen Hawking?

I've always liked intellectual puzzles. When I discovered data and codes as tools to solve complex puzzles during my studies of econometrics, I was intrigued. So also in my research career, I was concerned with puzzles that you wanted to solve with data and code. Lena came from the opposite direction. In her studies of visual communication, she dealt with the translation of thoughts into images. Her approach is to encrypt complexity using associations and her own perspective and thereby widen the meaning of a specific issue.

In our free-time, we both have been involved in political activism for quite a while, too. We believe that the most difficult and pressing problems, such as climate change or capitalism caused crises, are very, very complex. Unfortunately, our human brains are not really good at solving complex problems, in a way that society benefits from it. So maybe AI showed just right on time, to help us on this? Let's discuss if comics can help us make the sexiness and risks of AI debatable. Demystify it.

Our involvement in or withdrawing from the debate will determine whose problems will be addressed with AI. Let our voice be heard - and our sight be seen: www.weneedtotalk.ai

location: t