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Launching today at AIUK – The New Real Observatory

Launching today at AIUK – The New Real Observatory

Launching today at AIUK – The New Real Observatory

Today The Alan Turing Institute and University of Edinburgh launch a new project, The New Real Observatory, during a special session of AIUK.

The Alan Turing Institute and University of Edinburgh announce today the launch of a new interactive climate AI platform developed with and for artists, as part of a UK initiative to develop AI for the arts and creative industries.

The event at AIUK will unveil The New Real Observatory creative AI platform, and the artists’ work using the platform, which will be at Edinburgh’s Festivals as well as other international festivals in 2022 and 2023.

Advancing research in AI and creative industries

The New Real (www.newreal.cc) is a partnership between the Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh, the Alan Turing Institute and Edinburgh’s Festivals. It is an initiative to develop a national capability for advanced research on AI in the arts and creative industries.

The New Real invited leading digital artists to experiment with environmental datasets, climate models and processing pipelines to fuel a new generation of technology-conscious aesthetics situated in our connection with land, water, air and energy.

Climate change, data, AI and art

The result is The New Real Observatory, an interactive climate AI platform developed with and for artists. The vision is to bridge the gap between global datasets and models about the climate, and local, everyday perspectives.

The session at AIUK on the climate action stage will be a mix of in person discussion, brand new project film content and Q&A sessions with our diverse artists and technologists. It takes place 1pm-2pm on 23 March 2023.

The AIUK event today also sees the launch of a number of reports and a new website by The New Real. There is a discussion of findings in the reports in the New Real magazine (https://newreal.cc/magazine), or you can download the full reports (https://newreal.cc/research), and browse the artworks (https://newreal.cc/art) or the climate AI platform (https://newreal.cc/tools/new-real-observatory-platform).

Drew Hemment, Director Festivals Edinburgh Futures Institute and Principal Investigator of The New Real, said:

“We explore transformative ideas through art and AI, to equip future generations to flourish on a thriving planet in the midst of surprising, joyful, and inclusive forms of intelligent life.”

Speaking of The New Real’s latest project, The New Real Observatory, Hemment continues:

“With the New Real Observatory we wanted to do 3 things: Create an accessible, usable, low energy AI tool for artists who are not themselves AI practitioners.Test strategies to make AI legible, focusing here on visual understanding of the latent space of a generative adversarial network. And enable the artists to connect global climate data to people’s lives through narrative and interaction.”

The New Real Observatory platform integrates data stream and forecasting pipelines for selected climate features, combined with AI processing engines to manipulate images, words, sounds and numbers using the climate data and forecasts as the exploratory parameters. This enables the artists to expose the operation of a machine learning algorithm, and explore the link between global-scale data and what we call “ground truth” or reality.

About The New Real

Established 2019, The New Real is a unique hub for AI, creativity and futures research. It is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Alan Turing Institute, and Edinburgh’s Festivals. https://newreal.cc/about

About AI UK

In its second year, AI UK is the UK’s national showcase of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science research and collaboration. Hosted by The Alan Turing Institute, AI UK 2022 will be an in-depth exploration of how AI and data science can be used to solve real-world challenges. It’s unique and diverse programme will be thematically structured around the UK’s National AI Strategy.

The New Real Observatory is funded by Turing 2.0 (EPSRC) and AHRC.

Learn more: www.newreal.cc

Contact us: newreal@ed.ac.uk @experientialAI