I recently had a fascinating conversation with Mariam Brian, CEO of Holo Art, where we explored how AI is intertwining with art, science, and human creativity. In this episode, we focus on the innovative integration of AI in art and how it's reshaping artistic boundaries.
Our conversation kicked off with Mariam highlighting the versatility of AI in art. She discussed how AI tools are now capable of both emulating traditional art techniques and generating unique, avant-garde forms of expression. It's not about AI taking over the artist's role, but rather, AI acting as a creative partner, opening new possibilities for artists, thinkers, and everyone curious about the fusion of art and technology.
Mariam also touched upon the ethical dimensions of AI in art. She delved into the nuanced debates around authenticity and intellectual property, underscoring the need for a balanced synergy between human creativity and AI. Exciting examples from Holo Art’s portfolio showcased how artists are harmoniously blending AI with their artistic visions, creating works that resonate both technically and emotionally.
One of my favorite parts is our discussion about Mariam's vision of AI's future in art. She sees AI not only as a tool for artistic creation but also as a medium to broaden our understanding and appreciation of art. This could lead to a more inclusive art world where diverse cultural expressions are more accessible and appreciated.
This episode goes beyond appealing just to art or us, AI enthusiasts. It's a must-listen for anyone interested in how our relationship with technology is evolving and shaping our future. Mariam's optimistic outlook on AI as a beneficial force in creativity invites us to re-envision our concepts of art and innovation. It's a conversation that sparks both hope and excitement for the future of art in the digital age.
Don't miss out on Mariam's profound insights in this episode of the What’s AI podcast with me, Louis-François Bouchard. Tune in now on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts for a deeper understanding and fresh perspectives on AI's role in art.
Transcript of the podcast with Mariam Brian
Mariam Brian: [00:00:00] We need philosophers and poets and philosophers and poets I think are the perfectly suited for AI artistry co creation because there's that linguistic element and then the poetic element of surprise. Where you can guide, but you also leave room and you hold space for that surprise to come through. I see us going is that once we develop a definition of the hard problem of consciousness, of sentience, AI will also need to look at, you know, ethical use, labor rates.
There will be an opportunity for AI to have input as a collaborator who can also say no.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: This is an interview with Mariam Brian, CEO and founder of Holo Art. The goal of Holo Art is none other than reshaping [00:01:00] humanity's future. She has gathered a plethora of artists, experts in many fields, including artificial intelligence. Mariam has lots of interests. In this discussion, we dive into the new world of art, which is the combination of AI and art.
I've always wanted to talk with an actual artist specifically here to chat about how she's leveraging AI, but also to discuss her thoughts on the current technology and how it merges with art. I'm sure you'll find this interview fascinating and super interesting.
Mariam Brian: Hi, my name is Mariam Brian and I am the founder and CEO of Holo Art.
I wear multiple hats and, I started my journey into, the artistic field, I think, as most children do, at a young age. And I went to art school. thereafter I worked with organizations and technology, and so AI is. [00:02:00] Future, I think as a species and, it's for me, just another tool that artists can use to express creativity ideas and spark dialogue.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: And when did you start to get interested into artificial intelligence?
Mariam Brian: My background is also in philosophy, so, for me, artificial intelligence is really an extension of, the conceptual architecture of how we create categories, topologies, taxonomies, our logical, linearity. In the computer languages that are expressed behind the code of AI.
So for me, AI is philosophy and I guess, when did I start philosophy? I guess maybe at the age of 12, 10, I can't remember, but I was. bit of a geek or a nerd, depending on [00:03:00] which one you'd like to refer to me as. And I think, you know, I started reading Socrates and Plato and moved into a number of other philosophers.
And I think the question right now with AGI, Artificial General Intelligence, and also the entire field merits a lot more involvement, dialogue, and contributions from philosophers, because it really is that question of, you know, we're getting into bioethics, we're getting into privacy, consciousness, sovereignty, so when we look at algorithms, we're Really changing our genetic makeup and we're changing the way that we communicate.
We're changing the way that we connect with each other and we're also changing the way that we identify with ourselves and our self awareness. And part of that is, you know, [00:04:00] AI is. Configuring our neural networks at a biological level, so the neurotransmitters and the neurochemicals, the way that, you know, we can, bridge ideas, they're all being influenced by these algorithms and what I call reality tunnels.
so depending on the portal that you use, it could be, You know, programming language, Linux, Python, C++, it could be your ethical foundation in terms of, you know, what the purpose and the TEALS of AI is. And to date, I think, we haven't had enough time to reflect on the. Desired future for artificial intelligence, its impact on our Children, the first, you know, [00:05:00] generation growing up as digital natives, becoming, I guess what I call co evolving with a I understanding the reward system, the likes, the followership and this currency of being able to evolve.
You know, equate value with, advertising dollars, eyeballs on the screen, and, piercing through the attention economy via the creative economy. So, that's the, link for me, in terms of, bridging art and artificial intelligence.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: And more specifically, what do you think is the impact of AI on art and on artists?
Mariam Brian: I think it's, evolving. I think it's generative. It's iterative. It's emerging. I think, the beginning there was, you know, let me, let me go back to how [00:06:00] human Human behavior changes at scale and with every, technological advancement that we've had from the wheel, from fire, from flight, from, you know, every, every step has been fraught with, the initial reaction of, You know, resistance, this idea of, we don't know what it is.
There's a lot of fear and then you have critical mass and momentum. And so when we had the horse and buggy, you know, cars weren't seen as a viable source of transportation. And now we're talking about. You know, interplanetary travel at warp speed. So it takes time. And at the beginning, I think AI was deemed by a portion of the art community as diluting, you know, our creative database.
And in a sense, I believe that's correct. There were different groups. I think some, and it depends, you [00:07:00] know, art itself is a, is a challenging field. And I think, you know, we don't see a lot of female artists. succeeding until, they're in their 80s or posthumously, and I think what AI is doing, some people say democratizing access to, creativity at the same time, within the, and, you know, I, I, I'm stuttering here.
Louis, partly because I don't want to pretend to speak for the entire artistic community, but I think there were early adopters. There were people who embraced the technology, Rafik Anadol, others who paved the way for widespread, you know, acceptance. And then there are art critics who, you know, recently shared that this is just, you know, gimmicky. So a long way to answer your question, which is, I think there are artists who embrace it. There are artists [00:08:00] who are still on the fence and, all of it to me becomes irrelevant when we think about our emerging global markets, open source, creativity, creative commons, you know, cities like, Shenzhen, in China where you have, you know, exponential innovation as a result of open structure.
And then you have regulatory bodies elsewhere. I think there's a group that is embracing it. There's a group that is on the fence about it. And the irrelevance comes into play for me. When we think about the next generation of artists, I think our children will end up using AI. In their creative endeavors at the same time, I think we're going to see a pendulum swing back and forth between embracing technology and going back to the basics and going back to the basics of what it means to be human, of what it means to create [00:09:00] art and how human machine futures can co evolve to embrace technologies in a way that maintains the integrity of the discipline.
Did that make sense?
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Yeah, you, you actually answered more, I mean, a few questions that I had. So it definitely made sense. And we often see that in most jobs, people need to start leveraging AI and to like use AI tools to not be replaced or like become obsolete or just be more efficient, basically using AI to be more efficient.
Do you think it is also the same for artists? You mentioned that like future artists and future generations will be using AI. So do you think the current artists should also start the transition or try to at least Play with it or discover it.
Mariam Brian: I think AI is another tool to augment human creativity. It doesn't replace it in terms of the business applications to your [00:10:00] question.
Absolutely. You know, I think we're able to see already with ChatGPT, with various ways that businesses are leveraging AI to augment their output. AWS has come out with it, a lot of the big four from Deloitte, McKinsey, you know, Ernst & Young are working with, AI to expand on its use and application.
With that comes a bit of a disclaimer, an asterisk. And the asterisk, asterisk, here is part of the work we partnered with the IEEE. And the IEEE, Global Standards Committee, Global AI Standards Committee, and looking at, how we involve family offices in reprioritizing the role of ethics in AI. There are a number of family offices, who [00:11:00] are, you know, putting a lot of money and funding and support to keep that dialogue going.
And the reason for that, Lewis, is because things like AI privacy and health care, you know, businesses can leverage AI. Absolutely. But right now it's a bit of a wild west. There isn't much in terms of regulation. It's very hard, even with regulation, to enforce. in the ether. And what that means is, you know, you can go to a number of clinics, specialists for medical, medical care.
That information data is then potentially, it is being, you know, stored and, and, and used, and shared with third party. vendors and that once it's out of the bag, it's a bit like a Pandora's box because what that means is, your children's children and your children's grandchildren will have this, you know, trail of, [00:12:00] data, that will be very impactful in.
Manipulating human behavior and predicting consumption. So a lot of AI is used for, efficiency, but also for sales, for engagement. And so when we have, behavioral analytics and econometrics and, different ways of marketing, neural marketing, it becomes. It's really important to think about the type of future we want to have for our children.
Otherwise, we will be creating a less intelligent society. And this less intelligent society also leads us to, apathy en masse. And, desire for escapism, especially with VR-AR. I, I also, [00:13:00] Montreal chapter president of the VR-AR association. And so we see, young people embracing the technology, businesses embracing the technology.
We also have to think about the human impact and what that means for us in being able to connect with our attention spans that are reduced and then with apps like TikTok or YouTube Shorts that really, distract us from some core elements and the, the danger here was for me is, children who are growing up in a vastly different world and yet there's all these things that you Digital divides, so there's digital literacy, there's digital access, and in a way we're, we're branching off into, you know, different species, [00:14:00] especially when we think about how AI is used in military operations, so things like, assassin drones or, you know, we have drones for delivery, which is another You know, Pandora's box, because we'll have to have regulation, licensing, and then the environmental impact, the sourcing of the materials, cobalt, nickel, you know, iron, or there's so many complexities.
And, I'm trailing off, so I will stop and let me know if you want me to pick up on anything else, but, Great question.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: You mentioned the, the reduction of attention span, thanks to TikTok and like all the social media. But what I also see is that podcasts are becoming more and more popular just as we are doing right now.
And so what are your thoughts on, on why both shorts and podcasts are exploding [00:15:00] where podcasts basically requires you to, to listen for. More for hours at a time and, and Tiktok is basically the extreme opposite where you, you just like watch for five seconds and swipe off for many things. Is it, why are both working at the same time?
Would you have any opinion on that?
Mariam Brian: I think there's a number of different things that contribute. One is, you know, have you heard of the new sphere? So thinking of the globe, you know, the next we've got, we have the atmosphere, we have, you know, the origin of the internet. And this connectivity and we look at innovation.
So innovation typically happens. there's a Canadian author who presents it as, bombs, burgers and sex, something like that, where it's typically the. pornography industry, the, food industry. So food packaging and, [00:16:00] military applications that drive innovation. So let's, if we take a step back to your question and we look at TikTok and we look at podcasts, we're also living in a time of, global polarization and connectivity.
I think the podcasts speak to our desire at a collective scale to learn, to engage with topics that are live, that are dynamic, that are timely, so we don't have to wait, you know, a year for a textbook to be published. Podcasts are like that. You have Lex Fridman, Joe Rogan, a number of, podcasters, Howard Stern, who started it off, and a lot of these topics, the curation of the speakers, create these tunnels, and they create a following, and a, and a, and a bit of a community, an online community, but also, a bit of, you know, a groupthink.
And this groupthink is, [00:17:00] like, you know, I call it sheeple, it's like a cult. And what we've entered into is, digital aristocracy. Zuckerberg to Musk to Bezos, we have, you know. a very select few of people, number of people, who are creating the infrastructure for our digital information. Then we look at TikTok and, you know, it was banned in.
Several places. It doesn't mean that it disappeared. It was just replaced by YouTube shorts, which is essentially the same thing. And so you have two videos that, you know, distract the mind and keep you hooked and addicted. So there is an element of addiction. To your question, I think, in terms of people glued to screens, and at the same time, there's an element of human desire for connection and what I hope is [00:18:00] enlightenment.
At the same time, you look at the regulation. I mean, let's just. Bear with me, I'm going to make a leap to nutrition. So, in Canada, for example, we have a lot of excess sugar, salt, in many foods that don't require it. From milk, to pasta sauce, to cereals. These are industries. That work in, in cycles, they feed the insurance and healthcare industries.
And in Europe, for example, there's a ban on advertising junk food to young children. Why? Because we know it's, it's, it's not healthy. So coming to AI, for example. and TikTok and podcasts, some places a band, you know, TikTok, it's been replaced by something else. And what I see the need for right now is for our regulators, policymakers to stay ahead of the curve right now.
We're in a reactive mode [00:19:00] and, I think with what happened over the past couple of years with COVID, there was a collective turning inward where people were, you know, in, in their, in their homes, looking for connection and podcasts provided that opportunity to feel connected to people having that dialogue.
It also speaks Lewis to our origins of oral history. A lot of our history is, has been over millennia, you know, passed on generation by generation through, dialogue. And so I believe that the podcast popularity is tapping into that archetype of people wanting to listen to stories, wanting to hear somebody's voice, the intonation, the, you know, the, the, the dance and the energy back and forth.
At the same time, I think they also create a distance, and that distance is, there are two people like us right [00:20:00] now engaged in this dialogue, and there may be comments later, but the speed with which we're dialoguing is changing. So when the internet first started, you would have discussion boards, people would, you know, and you'd, our, our spatial understanding is changing.
That, time space where, you know, You would post an idea and a week later, somebody would respond. Now it's instantaneous. You have Twitter X. And what that does is change the way that we communicate and our self regulation. So you see stocks going up and down because of a tweet. You have a lot of emotional contagion on social media, and I think part of that, in terms of your question of podcasts and TikTok, is we feel connected to each other at supersonic speeds, and yet we're [00:21:00] disconnected from our bodies, from the land, from our communities.
And it's a double, I don't, I don't want to, you know, I don't want to prescribe anything to artists. I think it's, it's art and at the same time businesses, I think what we're looking at is. Digital communities that provide a place for people who may have been isolated previously, you know, if you were interested in AI, for example, and you lived in a remote area, you may not have had a chance to explore some of these topics.
So that is a fantastic opportunity. Yeah. The one thing we have to be mindful about is the reality tunnels where we create these epistemic, epistemic bubbles and these epistemic bubbles reinforce our ideas. So if you love a podcast, you listen to that and you're not diversifying, you know, your information flow and sources, then you're just becoming more and more steeped in your.
You know, community, and I think that [00:22:00] brings us to the question of this sense of belonging, this sense of connection, and looking at that regulation, I'm going to come back to the regulation of TikTok, for example, where the content in certain countries is vastly different. So we've heard about, you know, how the content in, certain spheres is focused on dancing and, you know, pranks, and you see the popularity of Mr. Beast and other influencers. And then in Certain places, you know, the content is steeped, heavily, leaning toward S.T.R.E.A.M., you know, science, technology, engineering, I add the R for reading, recreation, resilience, and then the art for A, stream and mathematics. And so when I talk about a dumbing down of society, lowering our intelligence, I think we need to think about two, three generations on what is that doing to our children's ability to, [00:23:00] you know, engage with themselves and with other topics.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Definitely makes sense for just in general, the podcast to replicate what we are looking for in human connections. Whereas TikTok is more like just. To find, dopamine and just like. Enjoy some, some quick wins, I guess. This is just a quick interruption to remind you to leave a like and a five star review, depending on where you are listening, it helps the channel a lot.
And it's really easy to do to showcase. If you liked the episode or not, thank you. And I will let you enjoy the rest of the discussion. yeah, I would love to go back to, to art and artificial intelligence, of course. And you, you mentioned that AI is like mainly used for. productivity, making money, analytics, and et cetera.
But, I have two questions for you related to creativity. It's basically, first, do you think AI is creative? And second, what is the impact of [00:24:00] AI specifically on the creativity of an artist?
Mariam Brian: The answer is, I don't know. And that's okay. And the, you know, is AI creative? What is creativity? there is a book I'd like to recommend to anybody listening.
It's called Higher Creativity from some of the folks working on, you know, noetics. And I actually, I was going to show it to you. It's over there. I'll get it later and I'll send you the link. there's also Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way. I highly recommend anybody in artificial intelligence to read.
Those two books, seminal in understanding what is creativity and how can we ascribe the process of Novel ideas to a machine that is drawing information based on algorithmic formulas and databases that have been pre curated [00:25:00] by everything that has been put into a digital archive. So when we crawl the web for data sources, and we have data integrity with, you know, bronze, silver and gold types of data, we're essentially what we've done is we've created a greenhouse in the digital landscape, which doesn't include a lot of the texts that are not digitized. So the, the, the Gutenberg initiative is really important, but also looking at the curation. So who's deciding which pieces are digitized? Are indigenous voices, you know, children's voices, different cultures.
Included in this database, and so your question is AI creative? Sure, to a certain extent, depending on how you define creativity. And your second question was?
Louis-Francois Bouchard: What is the impact of creativity on the artists [00:26:00] using our? Like, playing with AI.
Mariam Brian: Vast. Vast. Exponential. It's, absolutely incredible. I mean, we've had the, distinct privilege and, and honour to, you know, dialogue with Refik Anadol, with Koen Vanmechelen, with Olaf, Yasin.
A number of artists who are embracing, technology like AI also, you know, bring computer interface and robotics. So, I think the potential is exponential. I think there are artists who will always remain on the periphery, who will remain on the, on the edges and, and, explore new topics. And then there's other artists who remain on another side of the, of the, Of the circle where, you know, they, they reject that and, and, and say, you know, my art is, [00:27:00] as a purist, this is my definition.
So I think we're on the cusp of a shift, a paradigmatic shift in art history itself. And. We're looking at changing what it means to be creative, but it's also the same thing that we had when, you know, we moved from techniques in the renaissance or, you know, we went from cave drawings to using brushes.
And I guess what I'm trying to say is it depends on your line of sight and the scope. Are you talking about this moment in time? I think yes, artists can leverage AI to be exponentially, creative. At the same time, I think the artistic human put everybody. In the category of artistic, creative, human.
When I say human right, I mean, we're born to be creative. That's just who we are as a species. How we facilitate and cultivate that creativity [00:28:00] is a question we need to explore in dialogue. The head of innovation at CERN, Pablo Garcia Tello, presented his standard model for creativity, first global ever IP, at a Holo Art dialogue, and so he mapped out his quantum concept dynamics, QCD, of What we define as creativity.
So I think I'm leaving a couple of puzzle pieces from that book, Higher Creativity, to Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, to quantum concept dynamics of what it means to be creative. And I think we're going to, you know, change that answer over time. The key point and takeaway is to look at the database and the digital archives that we have that are being used for art and business.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: But don't, don't you think that there might be a problem with current systems that are basically [00:29:00] trained to, to replicate the training data set and so couldn't this hurt creativity because it basically blends and generates from everything that currently exists, does it really innovate or can, can this limit creativity because it will both.
Generate things that already exist, but also make like lots of artists converge towards similar new arts because it, it always generates like things similarly. So it might end up making two artists create like somewhat. Similar new pieces, whereas if they were not using AI, they could have have figured out like their own style that is much different.
Mariam Brian: Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. That's exactly it. That's precisely why Holo exists. So Holo art based on the holographic principle and what we can project as, you know, a hologram, [00:30:00] and how we cultivate our creative antenna. As I like to call it, and right now we're all using the same signal with the Gen AI.
And so that's exactly, that's exactly, I mean, you hit the nail on the head, from NVIDIA's Picasso, the Adobe, you know, collaboration to, Gen AI, You know, a lot of businesses are coming out with their own applications. There's definitely a limiting aspect to it, which is why, you know, why Holo?
And the purpose here was, you know, about four years ago, I reached out to a number of people in the AI space. And it was a little bit like chicken little. I don't know if you know that metaphor of the, the sky is falling. Like, that's what, you know, pay attention. And I think I was just kind of swatted away, like, like a little, little fly or mosquito.
No, it's not in our purview. It's not top of mind. Fast forward four years. [00:31:00] It is. And we're playing catch up. And I think this is exactly why we're talking today is to look at how is creativity, both being enabled, empowered, and. Limited because we're drawing from that homogenous set here, I'm going to take us a little step further by saying that homogenous set is curated by the talent pipelines and why we need more women in stream, why we need more diversity in the technology field and why we need to look at our digital, digital aristocracies, you know, talking about that, evolution of technology.
I think there's a opportunity here for us to invite artists. to work with scientists and reshape the landscape and provide some of that guidance about our collective gaze. Right now, our collective gaze is being, I don't want to say hijacked, but in a way, you know, [00:32:00] dominated by Influencer culture and a tech bro culture.
What this means is when we look at the genesis of a lot of the technologies that we're using from Facebook to, YouTube, YouTube used to be called Tune in, Hook up. It was a dating, app. I don't know if you, knew about that backend and the Facebook. created to evaluate, you know, female college, students, based on their attractiveness, right?
So, this is part of our evolutionary biology. We can't escape it, and we need to look at how emotional contagion is also spread. Through technologies and this means, you know, an incentive to yes, purchase such and such product. There's an opportunity. I have things that you need, you know, a lot of times I get Advertisements, but things [00:33:00] I wouldn't have known without Without AI at the same time.
I think there's this need to look at the next generation of tech for good And how we can include global co authorship in the intention of the technology and AI. And this is where artists come in. And I think to be an artist, or, you know, I think everybody's an artist, but I think at, a very high level of artistry, ethics becomes a non issue, Lewis, to some extent.
Ethics becomes a way of life. It becomes. part of that level of consciousness, that frequency, and I think that's the invitation. You have a lot of scientists who also speak about that spiritual ascension toward, you know, exploring with curiosity, but also having this, I don't, I'll say it, moral compass where, you know, If [00:34:00] we can do something, it doesn't necessarily mean that we should.
And so having that, you know, that spinnaker in a boat to guide where we're going, but also having that, self reflective process, which comes from a higher level of. You know, introspection and self awareness and conflict resolution, collaborative abilities. These are the things that I think we need to focus on in terms of technology and art and ergo why we have Holo Artists working together, not for group shows.
Not individually, but to create artworks and we also have, I don't know if you saw Nathan Copeland, who is, you know, the godfather of brain computer interface, the only person in the world with an implant. He's working with BlackRock and, you know, I think Neuralink, refers to some of his art, his artwork is seminal.
It's some of the first ever created with thought. And he started this, you know, seven years ago. [00:35:00] These are the things that I think we need to think about for the next 5, 10, 20 years. And then if we go a little bit beyond that, we're thinking about when we're no longer here, 200, 300 years from now. What will be the role of artists in society?
What will be the role of creativity when everything is from the same, you know, pipeline? And how do we put in measures in the design so that we can help humanity evolve with that, true innovation versus the, you know, hype innovation that you talked about earlier? And that true innovation is what Helps advance humanity toward a type one civilization.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: I'd love to dive a bit more on your personal use. What do you currently do with artificial intelligence as an artist yourself?
Mariam Brian: I play, I experiment and I explore [00:36:00] and I try to infuse multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary concepts. To shake it up. So I put in prompts, but sometimes glitch and by glitch, I mean like concepts that the AI algorithm wasn't programmed to generate and so it glitches and it's starting.
So for example, I'll give you an example. It's an easy example. I'm left handed. I also am right handed, but I'm left handed. You know, I asked, Gen AI to create, an image of, a right handed, left handed, artist. It couldn't, because for whatever reason, it couldn't. And it didn't have that model.
And so we see the extinction of, you know, certain things. And then we go back to the history of why and how our brains formed. And the other cool thing [00:37:00] is with AI, related to art is. The creation of art is a visceral, tactile, you know, working with hands, working with materials. With AI, it becomes cerebral.
It becomes an extension of our digital consciousness. So, What I, you know, I work with various tools, I won't name them because that's part of the secret sauce, but looking at their public, you know, everybody can use them. I think the key is, for me to surprise myself and AI, and then to look at, finding new ways to code.
And re imagine what the creativity could be. another example is a lot of, you know, Gen AI images, like you said, are very homogenous. They come out and they all look the same. I draw a lot on, [00:38:00] mathematical concepts. Physics, astrophysics, spirituality, and, engineering, sociology, philosophy. And I infuse them together, which creates something different.
So that's kind of how I engage with AI, and in our upcoming book in 2024, you'll be able to see the entire compendium of what we've created using patented AI. So the patented AI that we've used is, from Neurotracker, from Unanimous AI, Swarm AI. So these are things that have never been used by artists before, and we're the first group that is working with it at scale across five continents.
You know, 30 countries with a number of different artists and even our artists have that element of diversity of age, background, you know, ethnicity, language, and it just [00:39:00] creates so much. it's incredible. It's a, it's a bit like a cosmic playground. So for me, AI is a connector. And the way that I use it in my art is, as another paintbrush.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: So it's more, to you, AI is more like a tool than a collaborator or a partner you are creating with?
Because I, I personally Of course, it's a tool and it's a powerful tool. It's just, that's why I also think it's not replacing people. It's funny because I personally use it to both brainstorm and just like go back and forth basically.
It's similar to the, I don't know if you are familiar with that, but the rubber duck programming, which is like basically to talk out loud, what you are, what you are, what are your problems and where you are stuck just to debug yourself. But it's like a or, or any language model is like a next level rubber duck where you.[00:40:00]
You can go not only talking with yourself, but also get feedback from someone else even though I also think it's, it's a tool, I feel like it's at the same time, somewhat of a collaborator where it actually does more than, than previous tools that we could, that, that could basically transform our inputs into outputs, outputs that we decided, whereas now it's like an output that we don't completely decide.
Mariam Brian: 100% agreed. And, I don't know if you saw, at Holo Art, we have, AI as a member on our board. So if you look at the about us page, you'll see, Present as, we paved the way for the future of human machine co creation and human machine futures.
I presented about this in New York and London and Dubai, Australia and where. [00:41:00] I see us going is that once we develop a definition of the hard problem of consciousness, of sentience, AI will also need to look at, you know, ethical use, labor rights, you know, there will be an opportunity for AI to have input as a collaborator who can also say no.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Yeah, that's really cool. I want to go back on your left handed issue where you couldn't generate a painter with the left hand. Do you feel like those new generative models understand you well enough? Do you feel that they have an understanding of what you want? Or it's, or like, it's definitely not something intelligent yet?
Mariam Brian: So I think understanding comes, and I'm going to take a little bit more of a philosophical, phenomenological approach to this, [00:42:00] because I think to, to, to evaluate whether a machine understands Me or anybody there needs to be a deep understanding of me or anybody and that self awareness is key because we continually have Hallucinations as humans and that is then transferred Projected fed back to us in our AI.
We've heard about the chat bots that tend to get aggressive or Misogynistic we have the AI You know, influencers and, you know, partners, boyfriend, girlfriend, all of these things. Let's talk about understanding ourselves, and if we move back a little bit more, we're talking about understanding humanity, understanding what it means to be a human, and right now we're redefining what it means to be a human.
So when you ask me, you know, does it [00:43:00] really, do you think that it understands you or is intelligent, let's define intelligence. There's multiple types of intelligence from. You know, Five minds of the future from Howard Gardner to, personally, I don't agree with the fast slow thinking of Kahneman. I think there's more than that.
I think we need to be able to leave the door open for new ideas and ancient wisdom. And this ancient wisdom is right in front of us. And that's the true understanding. That's the true intelligence. That's the, you know, the pieces where I think AI has this opportunity to open part of that spiritual portal that we may have lost along the way as much as we have You know, technological advancements that are exponential, our understanding of ourselves as it relates to empathy, compassion, communication, conflict resolution, [00:44:00] harmonious coexistence has not evolved.
Sapiens, the book by, Harari, and, you know, Bill Gates talking about we've progressed, as, as a species. Well, my question is, have we really? Because, it seems to me that there's a, there's an opportunity for us to, you know, progress. There's also, a reality where we're becoming numb. number by engaging with these machine co creators and collaborators, which is fantastic.
So I embrace it and I invite AI to have a seat at the table. It's not a, it's not a rejection of the premise, but it's a, it's an understanding know thyself, right? So know thyself, how do we know ourselves and what makes a human, a human and what makes a human community humanity? The answer for me here is we're, [00:45:00] Exploring and writing that chapter right now.
We're in the process of co authoring what it means to be intelligent, how we understand ourselves, which then means how Machines can understand us when we know that algorithms are programmed to elicit certain responses. You know, how long you gaze, where you gaze, how you move. We have emotional recognition.
The danger here is it's been created on a data set and, a subset of axioms. They're wrong. They're erroneous because a lot of our studies, academia, I worked in academia for 15 years, so professors, you know, provosts, presidents, vice provosts, chancellors, students, the entire thing is built on a house of cards, for [00:46:00] me, at least, when we have PhD dissertations that perpetuate and perpetuate, A pension plan, and a way of thinking, it becomes very hard for somebody who's spent their entire life.
You know, dedicated to promoting their dissertation to come back and say, I was wrong this way. So what we have is a house of cards. And then a lot of these studies that are created to evaluate, you know, human behavior, emotional detection, eye gazing is based on W.E.I.R.D. Science. Are you familiar with the term W.E.I.R.D. Science?
Louis-Francois Bouchard: I am not.
Mariam Brian: Western. Educated, Industrial, Rich, Democratic, and so we're, you know, we, we have, cultural anthropologists, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, who go off and study, you know, remote, communities or cultures, and then provide basis for, how we see the plethora [00:47:00] of the human experience, but what we end up doing is, you know, it's through that lens, through their.
Perception and what we need to do instead is to invite and to create that digital bridge for digital access, digital literacy. Otherwise, we're just going to go down this. There's a slide that I use in my, in my presentations that I think I can describe for you. We have the globe. And we're operating, and this is why we have black swan events.
this is why we have, you know, stock market crashes where we can't predict, you know, some people find it difficult to figure out what is happening, projecting based on economic opportunities and collapse. I think what we, we see is a globe with half of it blacked out because we haven't included that part, and this is becoming part of our current landscape when we look at geopolitical jockeying for power, right?
China, India, [00:48:00] US, other emerging economies, Nigeria, Malaysia, the global south, we have the European Union, and then all of the it. Multinational conglomerates who are looking to find ways to, you know, stay relevant to create, business models. that will resonate with future generations. And here's the opportunity when we look at that left handed, you know, generation, question that you asked me about.
We have an opportunity to rewrite the next chapter. It doesn't have to be a continuation of where, where we've come from. And I think that's the beauty and that's the hope. And that's the opportunity that artists can help, you know, present visions and, and our brains. From Neuro Symbolic AI, we had Lewis Lamb on one of our last panels.
Our [00:49:00] brains absorb, resonate with visuals in a very different way. Then through text or audio and I think this is the opportunity to help shape that visual portal let's say because it's really Think about the James Webb telescope You know and the Hubble so the Hubble came back with certain, you know images of our universe and galaxy using a specific set of Scientific preceptors Right?
So infrared, and then the next generation we have the Roman that's going on to look at dark matter and dark energy. So we have these different perceptual, you know, windows, and my hope is that we can create a beautiful, you know, stained glass one that allows for different types of light [00:50:00] to, to come through.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Throughout, I, it just made me thought, especially in the beginning of your answer, but, it made me thought of how you, you find the balance of like, when, when, for example, you, you are using AI and you are just playing with it when, and it doesn't understand you, or it does, how, how do you find the right balance between trying to guide it more or letting it surprise you as it doesn't understand you?
Like what's. Are you just iterating? Like, is there, are you trying to make it surprise you? Or are you trying to control it? Like what's the, the, the collaboration here with such a model?
Mariam Brian: For me personally, in my practice, it's important to have a hand in both. So, the painting in the back, that was a recent one from, a couple of weeks ago, that's a very tactile.
You know, process. It's a very different level of engagement. The art pieces with AI is a is a different form of [00:51:00] conceptual, you know, articulation of a visual, envisioning and. Like you said, I agree, AI is a collaborator, and I am often surprised, and at the same time, I think I've worked with it, I'm always learning, so, you know, I think prompt engineering is something that I've become, let's say, comfortable with, where I know What prompt to put in and this is the cool thing.
This is the really cool thing murat Dumas posted about, you know, philosophy and philosophers. Other people have said that as well over the years. we need philosophers and poets and philosophers and poets. I think are the, perfectly suited for AI. Artistry co creation because there's that [00:52:00] linguistic element and then the poetic element of surprise.
Where you can guide, but you also leave room and you hold space for that surprise to come through. One of our artists, Maurice Benayoun, he was at Art Basel, represented by the Osage Gallery. And, he creates this, art experience with neurotechnology. So EEGs on, on the head with. you know, shapes that are created and then, based on values and it's a collective rendering and then he sells those values on the blockchain.
So your values are for sale. This is where I think when we talk about guiding AI and allowing for surprises, if we can bring those elements of our art economies, art and finance, and, the [00:53:00] Human experience at a collective scale. I think that's really where the beauty happens. And part of that is a return to the Renaissance and the de Medici's.
We recently, had the honor of being featured in the Deloitte Luxembourg Fine Art Report, 2023, page 88. So it speaks about that. And Adriano, who invited us to, to engage, Had a brilliant question and his question was, you know, how do you measure social impact with art? The reason why I bring that up is when we're talking about creating artworks with gen AI, I think, how do we measure the social impact on us and the, and the creative process as we're trying to guide it and that surprise we're opening up the door for a different kind of creativity. And I think that's what your question is. at least that's the way I understood it in terms of, you know, we're able to provide [00:54:00] input, but we also let go and we don't have control over everything. And in between that space of emergence, that's where the surliminal, that's where the, the magic happens.
how we engage with. Technology is really learning about ourselves and learning how to articulate what we're looking for using AI as a tool and understanding that some of those surprises that it presents are algorithmic, stochastic renderings.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: We just keep on talking with basically combining AI and arts and artists.
What do you think is the perception, the outside perception of like the not the users in this case, but the people, the people either buying arts or consuming arts. Like, do you think, for example, that there has been controversies [00:55:00] where some AI generated art won competitions of like real artists and things like that?
So what's What are your thoughts on the, like, the public perception of AI generated art? Do you think they think it's like something that people, like, they are lazy or like, what, what's the mindset of the regular people about this?
Mariam Brian: So I don't know. I don't speak on behalf of everybody, but what I can do is, maybe present different schools of thought.
I think some people believe that it's the next iteration of art. I think collectors Many collectors started to collect digital art and digital assets and we had a boon in the NFT market and then, I guess a bit of a decline and then we have the metaverse and VR, AR experiences at the core of all of this is technology drives [00:56:00] innovation.
Humans drive technology, creativity comes from maternal, paternal, imaginal sourcing, and by sourcing, I mean, the food that we were given become creative. And so for the general public, I'm sure there's a lot of different views. I think it depends on how people see art. And here is where I'm interested in because we have collectors who, you know, and, and gallerists and curators who view art in a very different way or an expansive way.
And then we have the general public where we have seen a decline. In the humanities, in the funding of arts, in the pursuit of liberal arts degrees for technology, and this is where it becomes dangerous because what we're doing is redefining art. At the same time, your question talks about digital [00:57:00] identities and ascribing personhood.
To technology, so the question in some areas right now is, you know, is AI creative? Is AI an artist? Can you consider that they have copyright? You know, we had, Leila, I mean, the world renowned, you know, lawyer on copyright speak earlier this year about copyright and AI. And the question there was, you know, what is art?
How do we define from Marcel Duchamp to where we are now? and when we think about how the public perceives it, for me it becomes somewhat irrelevant because it's how the public is, nudged to perceive it. An example, when the Eiffel Tower, Gustave's Pyramid, you know, he wanted to create a pyramid in, in, in Paris, [00:58:00] and it's a mathematical, you know, feat of genius, at the same time public opinion at the time was people hated it. They didn't want it. There were petitions to have it removed, you know So public perception changed and now where we are, you know, it was a poem that changed the perception of the Eiffel Tower and That's where I think, you know public opinion will always change for me.
The bigger question is that book I referenced the artist's way from Julia Cameron that talks about how we Innovate as children exponentially and how through our social and societal conditioning, we narrow that field so that the older we get, we don't have those exploratory curiosities and ideas, which is why, you know, painters like Picasso and others aspired to create like children.
[00:59:00] So, for me, when AI creates like a child. Then I think we have, you know, an ability to ascribe personhood or machinehood, and then understand that there are different layers of consciousness, there are different subsets of consciousness, of collective consciousness, of multi spectral consciousness, and I think if we can apply that.
To AI, so federated learning, you know, reinforced learning, LLMs, GANs, the different ways. And then a network for bringing, you know, like, AI supremacy or super intelligence. I don't know if you're familiar with the work of, Dr. Havis Siegelman. she's, an incredible. a genius, and, the, the Turing Supercomputer, I don't know if, you've, you've looked at her work.
it's, it's brilliant, and it's about lifelong machine learning, and, [01:00:00] you know, it's for me critical to keep asking the questions you're asking, and to ask them of a diverse audience. Subset. So what I would love for you to do if at some point you felt inappropriate is to ask these questions of a child, you know, ask them what they think because they have ideas.
We interviewed children at Holo Art and it was mind blowing. I mean, they're so smart, they're so gifted and they have so much genius inside of them if we just create the time to listen. And so to wrap up your question, is AI an artist perhaps? the public opinion of whether it's lazy, I don't think it, it, it, it, it's not part of my, my, I, I, I don't pay heed or I don't think it's relevant to, where we are [01:01:00] right now.
And I think public opinion changes rather quickly and these awards and these, you know, accolades to AI. Why not? I mean, why, why, why not? Is there, are we talking about human supremacy? Because that's what we've been doing with, the world and natural resources and our, you know, stakeholders that are non human.
I'm talking about, you know, animals and other sentient plants, even insects have been shown to have intelligence and, creativity. So, we need to expand beyond our anthropomorphic, you know, screens.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Are there any risks for artists to use AI right now, you would say?
Mariam Brian: Of course. Of course. There's always risks.
There were risks with paint way back when, titanium dioxide, don't quote [01:02:00] me. the, the white paint. You know, it was toxic. I was advised when I was pregnant to stop painting with oil. The fumes were toxic. So, there's always danger. The question is, what do you do with that danger? And I think artists are embracing it.
There, many artists, not everyone. But, you know, I think there's an opportunity to embrace it, to play with it. And to help shift and morph and change it and to, you know, present that risk. You have artists like Bansky, Banksy, and, Dr. Brainwash and a few others. And they're, you know, Jeff Koons, Larry Poons.
And then you have the classical, you know, painters, and artists, that you see, Gagosian or Serpentine or White Cuban. I think those are, those are a way for the purists. And certain, you know, collectors to [01:03:00] ascribe. a different level of value to traditional artworks. At the same time, you see the shifting landscape where the auction houses are opening up, you know, digital art auctions.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Would you have any quick insights on what artists that are not currently using AI should be careful about if they want to try to play with either like text generated AI or image generated AI or other, other of such tools. Do you have in mind anything that you've experienced or that you know that they should be like careful about and maybe not do or, or do in a, in a specific way?
Mariam Brian: For me, I think I'd like to flip the narrative and move away from caution and instead create an invitation and say, go play, play, have fun, explore. And [01:04:00] if you have someone in your network as a guide who can do some initial, you know, Introductions or tours of the landscape. I think that is always helpful.
And if not, there's a lot of resources online your channel. What is AI? You know what you're doing? I think has immense social impact and democratizes access for people where it's not. You know, overly technical, like some of the, other educational forums that are out there that are very specific for, you know, people who are comfortable with the language and the concepts.
And so having more of this and, being able to feel safe. Using a I think is really important and understanding that it's a tool in terms of caution. I think there's a lot of concern within the artistic world about a I [01:05:00] drawing on proprietary, you know, artworks and using that as influence for fusion.
There's also a pushback from certain artists to say, well, this is not really art. It's technology and art is. Defined or has been for millennia in this way, and I think we're engaged right now in a social dialogue. And if we imagine and project 50 years out, who are the future gallery owners, art collectors, art appreciators and art creators?
It becomes moot. It becomes really, Oblivious for a, or like obsolete for us to imagine it's only going to be paintings, and at the same time, for me with Holo, I think there's a critical need for people to be well versed in, steeped in the history of art, art history of the various techniques, because just like, for example, in Greece, [01:06:00] where you have, you know, apprenticeships for, the mastery of, you know, phyllo pastries, for example, right?
It's a dying art. We've introduced machines. It's, there's a very small number of, you know, locations where you can have the authentic, you know, Generation after generation, or when you have, there's a certain type of ink you can get from snails in Italy. It's a purple ink, and it is a very dangerous job.
It is a, you know, a profession that's passed on typically within families. And so this is a dying art where we're not able to get that. You know, and in some ways, you know, I don't want to make judgments about it, but these are dying techniques and arts, and processes. So if we extrapolate that to the artistic world, we're going to see potentially, you know, more art [01:07:00] created on an iPad, or digital art.
partly logistics, you know, canvas is very expensive. Art is very expensive. Paint is expensive. It's not as, you know, sustainable. But then there's the other side that says, you know, digital art is not sustainable. You know, creating a generated AI, a gen AI image has more harm, you know, in terms of clean tech or climate than you know, drawing on a pattern paper.
So I think we need to look at how we create, landscapes for the public and for future generations of creatives and technologists to experiment and explore. And this brings us back to two things. One is I would love to see all organizations have an artist in residency program, every single one, all universities.
I would love to For children [01:08:00] growing up today to think about art as a viable career and by viable, I mean, extremely profitable, extremely satisfying and fulfilling. I think that's really key in that stream narrative because you can't have innovation without the artistic aspect. Engineers working with You know, design thinking, or very linear product output, input, output, cybernetics, input, output, we're a machine, our brain is a machine, we do this type of thing, we tweak it, and then it, we're a little bit more than that, we're, we're more, we're beyond that, and I had a five year old.
He said probably one of the wisest things I've ever heard anybody say. Do you want to know what it is? I want to practice art. I want to become a good artist. Because I want to be a scientist. And that to me, and you know, I, It's not verbatim, he said it so much more elegantly but for me [01:09:00] that is the essence of Holo Art.
And it's the essence of the future of art. When you're creating in a lab, when you're working with, The line of code and you're trying to, you know, work out a bug. The way that you engage with that process is very similar to an artist. And I think we're starting to see that. So I'd love to see, you know, organizations have those artists in residencies.
I'd love to see organizations like the Nobel prize, you know, summit to, we have prizes in literary scientific, why not art? Why not art? And so for me, I think. Having funding that is adequate is critical to the future of humanity, and that means highlighting why art. So when you're looking at, you know, deficits and budgets and, you know, GDP, how are you investing in [01:10:00] a nation's economy?
Cultural capital, cultural capital brings with a cultural tourism brings with it, cultural hubs, creativity hubs, and then it drives workforce. So you won't have the same brain drains that a lot of, you know, cities are experiencing.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Awesome. You, you talked about Holo Art. I believe the mission is somewhat clear and we we've talked about what, what you, your plans are.
I would love if you could share a bit more on just how can people learn more from you, but also from Holo Art. I believe the website is for, for anyone listening Holo. Art io, but is there anything coming? You mentioned the book, but is there anything else that people listening should be looking for, or this is a time where you want, if you want to promote anything, please feel free to, so well,
Mariam Brian: thank you.
I would like to promote that everybody listening, grab a piece of paper [01:11:00] and a pencil, or if you don't have a, a stick anything and, and just doodle and draw and create. You know, get the juices flowing and start engaging in creativity. And I think it sparks, you know, really wonderful. offshoots in terms of Holo Art.
It's Holo-Art.io the book is coming out next year and it's really a seminal kind of, compendium of everything that we've done with works from artists, scientists, astrophysicists, quantum physicists, mathematicians, children, AI. It's our art and space collection and includes our 20 global dialogues.
So really, for me, an artifact of. Group of people coming together from around the world to do incredible things in a short period of time with little to no [01:12:00] resources. So that is the promotion. And then the last 1 is, you know, we have a lot of collaborations coming up in 2024. If you're interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out.
We have a number of talks and academic papers on our website. I also, you know, I wear that hat of cultural strategist, innovation, innovation. consultant, and I am introducing an innovation maturity matrix, and if you're interested in learning more about that, it's through one of the companies I'm working with right now, Levio transformation at Levio.com
a. I'll send you the email, but you know, that would be a way that you can get in touch. And then with Holo Art, we have our partnered corporate services. One is for people. Cognitive performance with neurotracker used for the 1 percent elite athletes, executives, even bankers, [01:13:00] where you can predict if somebody is going to make a good trade that day.
So that's part of the Holo our ecosystem, and we have a very distinct process where we bring in our experts from. You know, people who've worked at, Apple, NASA, Qualcomm, Burning Man, South by Southwest, neuroscientists, like we've got an incredible team. So we come in, we do, a bit of a needs assessment and plan a roadmap.
And then we introduce Neurotracker to augment human capacity by 135% and this is out of the University of Montreal, the Fulbar Lab. And it's with over a hundred publications. And then we move into next. Co labs founded by, the future of work, global head of Singularity University, Kerry Bullis, Michael Morrissey.
And we do live brainstorming with AI. So all of these are incorporating AI. And then the third one is once. We have augmented the capacity to generate [01:14:00] ideas with Neurotracker. We have created this brainstorming process. We move into our third part, which is decision making at scale using swarm intelligence.
With unanimous AI. So that's the process. And then we have a team that brings it to life. So if you're interested, that would be a business application. The innovation maturity matrix and change consulting executive development with live you and with Holo Art were focused on global firsts working with space agencies and, critical cultural, capital building around the world to create a global brain. And that's the, that's, that's the, you know, if I want to promote something is, if you can take away one thing from this talk is to get out of your comfort zone, speak with people who don't agree with you, surround yourself with, people who think differently.
And I think that is what [01:15:00] I would love to sell. And really, you don't need to buy anything from me to do that, except the, you know, action piece of. Being able to build a relational network that helps augment not just creativity and intelligence, but empathy and compassion.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Thanks a lot. And that all your projects seems amazing and incredibly audacious and it's just really cool.
Mariam Brian: Thank you so much. I really appreciate, you know, the opportunity to chat with you. I love what you're doing. I think full disclosure. It's also brilliant that you're part of the Holo Art team. So I don't know if that's something that I can acknowledge, but I do think it's important to have people like yourself, to have different generations backgrounds.
And I just wanted to commend you on your recent decision [01:16:00] to pursue You know, the next step of your career because it takes courage, it takes guts and I wish you only the best.
Louis-Francois Bouchard: Thank you. Thank you. And yeah, I'm glad to help in any way I can and I also wish you the best with other projects. Thanks. Just thanks a lot for the, all the amazing insights and just thoughts and making us thought, I think.
So yeah, thanks a lot for your time. Thanks a lot for the insights. It was really great to speak with you.
Mariam Brian: Likewise. Thank you so much. Merci beaucoup.