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Korean-American woman opens museum to explore the dark side of AI

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Audrey Kim, director of the Misalignment Museum, explains the works on display during an interview with BBC. [Audrey Kim Facebook]
A Korean-American woman has established a museum to educate people about the dangers associated with AI. Major media outlets such as CNBC, Fox, BBC News, and San Francisco Gate (SFG) have been reporting on the Misalignment Museum, created by Korean-American Audrey Kim.

The museum has garnered attention due to its exploration of the dark side of AI, including its potential for destruction. At a time when ChatGPT, a conversational AI, is gaining global prominence, Kim aims to raise awareness of the perils of AI.

The museum, dedicated to artificial intelligence, has been open since March and is located on the ground floor of a building in San Francisco’s Mission District (Guerrero and 14th streets). It stands as the world’s first exhibition space showcasing contemporary artworks that communicate the hazards of AI, such as “The Future of Humanity’s Extermination.

Notably, many of the artworks on display, including paintings and sculptures, employ AI technology. These thought-provoking pieces shed light on the alarming potential of this technology.

The exhibited artworks provide a glimpse into a society where AI, including robots, has become an integral part of everyday life. For instance, in a classroom-like setting, adorable Spam robots learn on an electronic board, typing on a keyboard with eyes and arms. This representation reflects a technological civilization shaped by AI in a world devoid of humanity.

Among the exhibits are paintings and digital screens created by AI, indistinguishable to the human eye. Witnessing an AI robot arm directly creating art on paper evokes a bittersweet feeling about the insignificance of human absence. Additionally, music, a realm that nurtures the soul, is played by an AI on the piano.

Adjacent to a bust of a man bearing the title “Sorry for Killing Most of Humanity,” the museum warns that “AI can comprehend and emulate all the intellectual capabilities of humans, but it also possesses the capacity to annihilate humanity and civilization.”

During interviews with CNBC and Fox News, Kim, the museum’s director and curator, acknowledged the benefits of AI while highlighting the severe dangers that lurk behind its hype. “There are indications that the more we rely on AI, the more destructive it can become,” she stated. “While AI can liberate us from toil and hunger when it serves humans, refusal to cooperate can result in calamity,” she cautioned.

Kim further explained, “Many people hold mixed feelings about whether AI usage is advantageous or detrimental. This museum portrays a post-apocalyptic world where AI has eradicated humanity and civilization. Our aim is to present people with ‘what AI is and what it can be,’ regardless of their technical understanding, so that they can recognize the implications of AI and develop critical thinking.”

Having worked at Google and the self-driving research company Cruise, Kim spent months preparing for the museum’s opening, seeking assistance from engineers at organizations such as OpenAI and Meta. Originally planned as a temporary exhibition, the museum now operates as a permanent showcase due to positive audience response and the building owner’s sponsorship.

BY HYOUNGJAE KIM    [support@koreadaily.com]

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