Wakefulness, Wine, Noise, And Shouts. Artificially Intelligent. London: V&A. 2018.

An essay threading together the politics of the development and deployment of artificial intelligence, with the role of the unreliable narrator in Livy’s History of Rome This was commissioned by the V&A Museum as part of the 2018 Artificially Intelligent exhibition, and specifically responded to the sculpture Bacchanal by Aimé-Jules Dalou, which is held by the museum. (Email me for a full text).

Where do the mysteries live? Down in the darkness, up on the hillside. Secrets and signs; partial truths; small fragments of light in the gloom.


How shall we learn to make an intelligent system? We create that entity and we feed it. We teach it to learn. There is no defined thing here, of course; simply a rotating assemblage of technologies that we bind together – machine learning, natural language processing, reasoning, perception. Pump it full of training sets and raise it as our beautiful, precocious, distributed child.

What shall our clever baby do? What could you company achieve if every interaction with technology were intelligent? We think that artificial intelligence can meaningfully improve people’s lives. We believe artificial intelligence will touch every corner of society. We believe artificial intelligence will transform the world in dramatic ways in the coming years.