Accessible definitions of vocabulary used in Climate, Technology and Art

Join us for a whirlwind tour of the jargon jungle in AI art! This glossary will guide you through the lingo of the festival with simple, straightforward definitions. No prior knowledge is required; whether you’re a seasoned pro or a curious newbie, we’ve got you covered. So come along, expand your vocabulary, and let’s get learning!


Art made using Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be created in two ways. First, AI systems can produce art independently. Second, humans and AI can collaborate to create art. AI systems are designed to learn and mimic human cognition. They use image databases to recognize things like colour, texture, and text. Then, they use that information to produce or replicate art.


An AI bot is like a robot brain that can think and learn like a human but without the body. It can be used to automate tasks, analyze data, and make predictions. AI bots are becoming more common in everyday life, from voice assistants like Siri and Alexa to chatbots that help with customer service. They can be programmed to perform specific tasks, but they can also learn and adapt based on their interactions with people. Overall, AI bots are a powerful tool that can help make life easier and more efficient.


AI simulation is like creating a virtual world that behaves like the real world. It’s kind of like playing a video game where the characters and their surroundings are controlled by a computer program. But instead of playing for fun, AI simulation is used to solve complex problems that are too difficult or dangerous to test in real life. For example, scientists might use AI simulation to model how a new drug will behave in the human body or to test the safety of a new technology. It’s a powerful tool that allows researchers to experiment and innovate without putting people or resources at risk.


A conventional algorithm is like a strict boss, giving the computer a set of commands and expecting them to follow every step in perfect order. But in the world of machine learning, it’s like the computer’s finally gotten a taste of freedom – it experiments, adapts, and improves on its own, becoming a pro at the task without anyone telling it how to do it every step of the way.


Algorithmic prejudice, or “algorithmic bias” as it’s sometimes called, is the undesirable outcome of an AI system that plays favourites. Think of it like a computer system with a built-in bias, resulting from the human biases woven into the data it’s trained on. So, if society has prejudice, the AI system will too. The result? Unfair treatment of certain groups and discrimination based on factors like race or gender, can have dangerous consequences.


Get ready to travel back in time to the dawn of mankind! Our human ancestors have been making their mark on the earth for centuries, leaving behind evidence of their impact. From nuclear tests to plastic pollution, our presence has had a significant effect on the planet. That’s where the word Anthropocene comes in! It’s a fancy term that comes from the Greek words for “human” and “new” and is used to describe the time period when humans have been on the earth and the significant impact we’ve had.


When people talk about “Art in the Anthropocene,” they’re talking about an artwork that recognizes the impact that humans are having on the earth. The Anthropocene is a new geologic era that we’re in right now, and it’s marked by the fact that our actions are changing the climate and ecosystems of the planet. In other words, we’re making a big impact, and artists are creating works that acknowledge and respond to that impact.


AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is like a robot sidekick for your life. Instead of being programmed to do precisely what it’s told, it figures things out on its own by observing and learning from experience. From autocorrect to online shopping suggestions, AI’s already woven itself into our daily routine – and we bet you didn’t even notice!


Augmented Reality (AR) is like having a magic window that shows you things that aren’t really there. Using a special device like a smartphone or glasses, AR adds virtual objects, images, or information to the real world. For example, you could point your phone at a street and see virtual signs that tell you where to go. Or, you could wear AR glasses to play a game where virtual creatures appear in your real environment. AR is a fun and interactive way to experience technology in the real world!


Avatars are digital doppelgangers that allow us to be whoever we want to be in the virtual world. From slaying dragons in video games to representing ourselves on social media, avatars have been our wingmen since 1985 when Richard Garriott brought them to life on our screens. With roots in Sanskrit, the term “avatar” has evolved to embody our online alter egos.


Biodiversity means all the different types of living things that exist on Earth. It’s like a big collection of plants, animals, and insects that are all unique and special in their own way. Biodiversity also includes the different ways that living things interact with each other and their environment, like how plants give oxygen for animals to breathe, or how bees help pollinate flowers. So, when people talk about biodiversity, they’re really talking about how amazing and diverse life is on our planet.


Biological art is a type of art that uses living tissues, organisms, and processes to create unique and fascinating artwork. It’s a blend of science and art that has its roots in scientific experimentation. By bringing together these two fields, biological art transforms art into a living, breathing entity.


Think of blockchain as a giant puzzle, made of many tiny pieces called blocks, all securely connected. Each block contains important information and everyone in the network has a copy of this puzzle. No one can change a block without everyone else noticing, making it safe and trustworthy. And just like in a puzzle, all the pieces must fit together perfectly for the picture to make sense, ensuring the information in the blockchain is always accurate.


A carbon footprint is like a little trail of pollution that a person leaves behind wherever they go. It’s made up of all the greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, that are released when someone drives a car, takes a plane, or even eats certain foods. The bigger the trail, the more harm it does to the planet. To shrink their carbon footprint, people can try to use less energy, use public transportation or walk/bike, and eat a more plant-based diet.


Climate action is like taking steps to help the planet stay healthy and happy. It means doing things like using less energy, planting trees, and recycling as much as possible. When people take climate action, they’re making a big difference in the world! Even little things like turning off the lights when they leave a room can help. The more people take climate action, the more we can protect the planet and make sure it stays a wonderful place to live for a long, long time.


Climate change is when the usual weather patterns that we’re used to seeing start changing over a long period of time. It can happen naturally, like when the sun goes through different cycles. But, since the 1800s, people have been using things like coal, oil, and gas for energy, and that’s been causing climate change too. So, it’s not just nature doing its thing, we humans are also making it happen.


Datasets, or training data, are the fuel for AI. They’re collections of information, in various forms, that AI uses to learn from – from photo libraries to massive text catalogues, to audio recordings. Just like you need food to grow, AI needs data to train and improve.


Deep learning, the sophisticated sibling of Machine Learning, mimics the workings of the human brain to allow computers to teach themselves through vast amounts of data. With deep learning, these machines can observe and learn from a massive dataset of examples, elevating their abilities beyond simple rule-following algorithms.


Deepfake is a buzzword for when AI-powered magic transforms a person in a video or image into someone else, making it appear as genuine as ever. With a few computer tweaks, and public figures beware, you might find yourself in a totally different light!


E-waste, also known as digital rubbish, is when people get rid of their old electronic stuff. This can be anything that runs on electricity, even batteries! So things like computers, TVs, and stereos are all types of e-waste. Instead of throwing these things away, it’s important to recycle them properly. That’s because e-waste can contain harmful chemicals that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. So the next time you’re ready to say goodbye to your old electronic devices, be sure to find a recycling centre near you that can take them in and make sure they’re disposed of in a safe way.


When an artist makes their work, there’s a lot of stuff that goes into it – like taking pictures, keeping records of the process, and writing things down. All of this stuff is called “documentation”, and it helps people understand how the art was made and what it means. It’s like a behind-the-scenes look at the artwork! You might see photographs of the work being made, contracts that the artist signed, or letters they wrote about the art. By looking at all of this documentation, you can get a better idea of how the artist created the work and how it was shown to other people.


An ecosystem is like a big party where all sorts of creatures and plants hang out and live together. There are no strict borders, just places where different habitats blend into each other. The plants and animals in an ecosystem are all connected in different ways, so if one thing changes, it can affect everything else. Think of it like a big game of Jenga – if you remove one block, the whole tower could come crashing down!


Extinction is when a type of plant or animal disappears forever. It’s like a light switch that’s turned off – once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. This can happen when there are not enough of them left, or when their homes or habitats are destroyed. Extinction is a big problem because every plant and animal plays an important role in the environment. When something goes extinct, it can affect the whole ecosystem, including people!


Facial recognition is a computer-based system that’s all about giving you a digital identity check. It analyses your face and compares it to a database of faces to confirm your identity. It’s like the tech equivalent of having someone remember your face and match it to your name. This technology is handy for things like unlocking your phone, breezing through passport control, or even keeping an eye on things in video surveillance.


In a GAN – Generative Adversarial Network, two neural networks engage in a playful rivalry to up their accuracy game! These “adversaries” use their powers to generate new data and see if they can fool the network. The more they play, the more they learn and the better they get at generating precise images, videos, and audio. It’s like having a fun competition to see who’s the best at creating something new and amazing!


Let’s play a game of mimicking! Meet Generative Algorithms, the masterminds behind creating new data. They take in a ton of data, be it images, sounds, or sentences, and study it like a pro. Then, with their new-found knowledge, they can whip up similar data that’s almost as good as the real deal. Think of it as a virtual artist who can paint a human face so perfectly, you’d struggle to tell if it’s a painting or a real photo.


Global warming is when the Earth’s air gets hotter and hotter on average. This is caused by things people do that make too much greenhouse gas. These gases trap heat from the sun, and that’s bad news because it can lead to problems like droughts, dirty air, and the sea getting higher. So, it’s important to try and reduce greenhouse gas emissions!


Improv is a type of theatre where the actors make everything up as they go along! They don’t have a script to follow, so they have to be quick on their feet and come up with everything on the spot. Improv is usually funny and entertaining, but it can also be serious or dramatic. The actors might get ideas from the audience, like a word or a suggestion, to get them started. Or, they might just use their own imagination! It’s kind of like a game where everyone is playing together to create a story in real-time.


Let’s talk about something important in the world of machine learning and computer vision – the labour of datasets! This refers to the effort and resources it takes to create, annotate, and maintain a dataset used in these applications. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it! First, you need to collect raw data, then clean and preprocess it, and add labels and categories to it. Finally, you store and organize it in a way that’s easy to use. This labour is vital in training machine learning models because the quality and quantity of the data will determine the accuracy and performance of the models. Sure, it can take a lot of time and resources, but it’s essential for developing effective machine-learning applications. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!


Machine Learning (ML), is a branch of AI that uses smart algorithms to examine a sea of data, spot patterns and similarities, and then construct a model that enables the computer to make predictions and decisions. For instance, imagine you teach a computer what a sheep looks like by showing it thousands of pictures. Then, it can effortlessly identify if a photo has a sheep or not, like a seasoned farmer.


Misclassification is when a computer or machine makes a mistake in categorizing or labelling something. Imagine you have a basket of apples, bananas, and oranges and someone is trying to sort them into separate piles. If they put an orange in the apple pile, that’s misclassification. In technology, misclassification can happen when a machine learning model is trained to recognize objects, but sometimes it gets it wrong and classifies something as something else.


Have you ever seen those hand gestures in pictures of Buddhist or Hindu art and wondered what they meant? Well, those are called mudras! They’re special hand gestures that represent different things like actions, behaviours, or even states of mind. To make a mudra, you just move your fingers in a certain way to express what’s going on inside you. Sometimes, mudras are also used to represent the divine, and you can see them in beautiful sculptures or traditional dances from India.


Multimodal AI systems are like the multitasking superheroes of the AI world! They can handle both sensory and linguistic forms of information, much like how humans can see and hear at the same time. They’re pros at understanding the connection between pictures, words, and beyond, and can gobble up knowledge from all sorts of sources to tackle tasks like champions.


A neural network is like a virtual brain, designed to work just like the human one! It’s made up of many tiny neurons, or “nodes”, that take in information and use it to learn and make smart decisions. Just like our brains, these nodes process and analyze data to gain understanding and solve problems. So basically, a neural network is like a mini-you, with its own way of thinking and problem-solving abilities.


New media art is a type of art that uses the latest technology such as computers, virtual reality, robots, and the internet. This art form combines art and technology invented by artists. It’s not just a picture or a video, but it can also interact with the person who sees it, or even with the artist and the public. Sometimes, it can also include sound or be projected in 3D.


NFTs are like unique stickers that you can collect, but instead of putting them in your notebook, you keep them in a special digital world. These stickers can be anything from digital art to cool photos or videos, and each one is one-of-a-kind and cannot be duplicated. Just like a rare collectable sticker, owning an NFT means you have something special and unique, and you can prove it belongs to you because it’s stored on the blockchain.


Natural elements, processes, and entities that impact the environment and human life are known as non-human actors. These include rivers, forests, oceans, and different animal and plant species. They are studied for their unique roles in shaping the environment and impacting human experiences. Instead of being seen as resources for human use, they are recognized as important agents of change. They deserve our consideration and protection in their own right.


Object recognition is the process of a computer identifying objects in pictures or videos. How does it work? The computer breaks down the image into smaller parts and analyzes the shapes, colours, and patterns of each part. Then, it compares these parts to a database of known objects to find a match and figure out what the object is. And guess what? The more data the computer has, the better it gets at recognizing objects! That’s why object recognition technology often goes hand-in-hand with machine learning algorithms, which help the computer continuously improve its accuracy over time. It’s amazing how quickly technology is advancing these days, so who knows what the future holds?


Open Source software whose source code is made publicly available, meaning anyone can modify, inspect, and distribute it. How cool is that? This leads to the creation of high-quality software through free collaboration, sharing, and building upon each other’s work. Often maintained by a community of volunteers, open-source software encourages contributions of bug fixes and new features. This model promotes transparency, innovation, and collaboration, and most importantly, helps democratize access to technology. So let’s join the fun and contribute to the world of open source!


Performance art is when artists put on live shows that can be all kinds of different things! They might move around, make funny gestures, or dance choreographed routines. Sometimes, it can even involve body art, which is when the artist uses their own body as a canvas. And nowadays, it can also include videos and pictures of events!


Predictive analytics is like having a crystal ball, but with a bit of a brain! We take a good look at the past and current data, search for hidden patterns and connections, and then use all that knowledge to make wild (but educated) guesses about the future. It helps us spot both opportunities and potential dangers, so we can be ahead of the game.


Get ready to be amazed by the latest technology – quantum computing! The laws of quantum mechanics are used to handle information in a whole new way, making classical computers like smartphones, laptops, and supercomputers seem outdated. With quantum computing, problems that involve tons of variables and potential outcomes are tackled with lightning-fast speed and accuracy.


Recycling is like magic, but for waste! It takes old stuff that you don’t need anymore, like empty soda cans, used paper, or plastic containers, and turns them into new things. You know how you can reuse a jar to hold your pencils? Recycling is kind of like that, but on a bigger scale. By recycling, you can help cut down on the amount of garbage that gets thrown away in big dumps called landfills. Those landfills can get really expensive to maintain, and they take up a lot of space. Plus, when things start to break down in landfills, they can release harmful chemicals into the air, water, and soil. So, when you recycle, you’re not just doing something good for the environment, you’re also saving money and resources.


Are you ready to have some serious fun? With the magic of Skeletal tracking (or Pose Recognition), your every move can be tracked and mimicked in real time! All you need is a few cameras, depth sensors, and some fancy algorithms to map out your joints, bones, and limbs. And voila! A virtual skeleton that moves just like you. This technology is used in virtual and augmented reality, gaming, sports training, and human-computer interaction to give you the most accurate and responsive experience possible. So get ready to immerse yourself in digital worlds with ease and let the fun begin!


Sustainability means taking care of the planet in a way that keeps things in balance. This involves creating a system that can be maintained over time, while also considering the needs of people who will live here in the future. When we do things sustainably, we can help reduce the harmful effects of climate change and help people grow without hurting the planet.


Techart is a new and exciting form of art that blends creativity with technology. It allows artists to use functional devices in their artwork, bringing together different elements like visuals and audio.


Text-to-speech is like having a robot read a book to you! It’s a technology that converts written words into spoken words. You can use it to listen to emails, articles, or even books, instead of reading them yourself. It’s helpful if you’re driving, cooking, or doing something that makes it hard to read. You can also adjust the speed, volume, and accent to your liking. Text-to-speech is a convenient and easy way to consume written content without having to stare at a screen or page.


Have you ever dreamed of having superpowers? Well, meet the transhuman – a being that can surpass the physical and mental restrictions of mere mortals! They can have heightened intelligence, emotions, health, and even live longer. You may have seen them in sci-fi movies as cyborgs or genetically advanced humans. Transhumanism is a group dedicated to making these advancements in technology possible. Who knows? Maybe one day you can become a transhuman too!


Virtual Reality (VR) is like stepping into a whole new world without leaving your couch. Using a special headset, VR creates a completely immersive experience that feels like you’re really there. You can explore new places, play games, watch movies, and even have conversations with people from all over the world – all from the comfort of your own home. It’s like having your own personal adventure that you can control. VR is a great way to escape reality and have some fun, without having to go anywhere.


Wasteful consumption refers to consumer spending on goods and services that are not later consumed. It caWasteful consumption is when things you buy don’t get used like they should. It’s like when you buy a toy and forget about it, or when you buy clothes that don’t fit and never wear them. It’s a big waste of money and resources, and nobody wants that! You might not even realize you’re doing it, but being mindful of what you buy and how you use it can help reduce wasteful consumption.n apply to goods that are purchased but never used, or to goods whose functionality is only partially recognised.


Zero waste means reducing the amount of trash you produce as much as possible. It’s like playing a game to see how little garbage you can make! Instead of throwing things away, you try to find ways to reuse or recycle them. You might bring your own bags to the store, compost your food scraps, or buy things that are packaged in eco-friendly materials. The goal is to send nothing to the landfill!