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21 June 2023

'Engage everyone in the conversation' Science Gallery London's new AI season

The exhibition ‘AI: Who’s Looking After Me?’ opened to the public with a launch event celebrating creative collaborations that bring a breadth of perspectives together, including artists, researchers and young people

Two figures stare at a television screen in the centre of the shot, their backs to camera. They are looking at a bright fluorescent green screen. One of the figures is pointing, but the image of the screen is hard to make out. In the background, green swirls and shapes can be seen.

Yesterday marked the launch of ‘AI: Who’s Looking After Me?’, the new exhibition and public programme from Science Gallery London, King’s flagship public gallery space at Guy’s Campus.

The season, presented in partnership with FutureEverything and running until January 2024, takes a questioning and playful look at the ways AI is already shaping areas of our lives - from our healthcare and justice systems, to how we look after our pets.

The exhibition has been created with sector-leading researchers from seven departments across King’s, in partnership and with support from the Arts Council England, EPSRC, Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Medical Engineering, Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation (ECHO) and the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub, amongst many others, as part of 12 artistic collaborations.

Researchers at King’s, together with artists such as Blast Theory, Fast Familiar and James Bridle, alongside King’s students and community partners, have created a programme of work that acts as a springboard for fostering dialogue and idea-exchange with visitors.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King’s, acknowledged the unique role of Science Gallery London as ‘a place that could respond to the science of the day and engage the community in it.'

Professor Shitij Kapur at the launch
Professor Shitij Kapur at the launch

Science Gallery London places the best of university science alongside artists to engage everyone in a conversation, creating an opportunity for us all to reflect more deeply on what it means to be human. It continues to be a place where researchers and artists ponder big questions.

Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King’s College London

Offering her experience on the creation of the season, Jen Wong, Head of Programming at Science Gallery London, explained that conversations about presenting a season on the topic of AI at the gallery began back in 2017. She acknowledged the convening process of bringing differing perspectives together to unlock meaningful ways of exploring a vast and complex subject like AI, including ‘departments across King’s digging into pertinent questions’, which the season platforms and celebrates.

Irini Papadimitriou, Creative Director at FutureEverything – an organisation that has worked at the thresholds of art, technology and society for many years - highlighted the important contribution the exhibition makes to thinking about ‘how we can save technology’, rather than it always being framed as something that will save us.

Irini Papadimitriou (left) and Jen Wong (right) at the launch
Irini Papadimitriou (left) and Jen Wong (right) at the launch

King’s PhD students Jhanelle White (Department of Chemistry) and Tiarna Lee (Department of Biomedical Engineering) spoke next about their role as collaborators on the exhibition. Tiarna explained that whilst AI can be ‘seen as something scary or something that makes images of Joe Biden and the Pope’, there is a valid place for its application in Medical AI, her field of study, such as delivering more accurate testing and better quality of care. She emphasised the importance of asking questions: ‘Who is training AI? Is it biased? Where is your data being stored?’. 

Jhanelle shared her perspective as a scientist who believes science is ‘very creative’, including the need for storytelling in science.  

Science Gallery London is a place I get to live as someone who loves art and science at the same time. For one moment, we can all be creatives, we can all tell stories.

Jhanelle White, PhD student, Department of Chemistry
Tiarna Lee (left) and Jhanelle White (right) speaking at the launch
Tiarna Lee (left) and Jhanelle White (right) speaking at the launch

Closing the speeches, Siddharth Khajuria, Director of Science Gallery London, celebrated the gallery as ‘a civic-minded threshold to the university’ and the role it plays in London’s cultural landscape as a place where it is possible for complex identities to exist, and conversations bringing different perspectives and types of expertise together are fostered.  

The gallery is a container for change, a place where you can build a new shared understanding and shorthand, a new language. In bringing together so many perspectives, we ensure that each can examine the world in a fresh way, with agency and curiosity.

Siddharth Khajuria, Director of Science Gallery London
Newly Forgotten Technologies by Wesley Goatley is one of the pieces on display
Newly Forgotten Technologies by Wesley Goatley is one of the pieces on display

The ‘AI: Who’s Looking After Me?’ season will include a programme of talks and events at the gallery, diving into specific areas of AI development and application. Highlights already announced include ‘Building Better AI in the Open’ with Margaret Mitchell, Lara Groves, Caroline Sinders and Irini Papadimitriou, BBC Global News Podcast: AI Special’, and ‘AI Myth-Busting’ with King's students Jhanelle White and Tiarna Lee

AI: Who’s Looking After Me?

Visitor Information

Dates: 21 June 2023 – 20 January 2024

Summer opening times: Wednesday - Saturday, 11:00 – 18:00

Address: Great Maze Pond, London, SE1 9GU

Free entry  

Explore Science Gallery London’s free talks and events programme.

In this story

Siddharth  Khajuria

Director, Science Gallery London

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London

Jen Wong

Head of Programming, Science Gallery London