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Turkish artist unveils AI installation to highlight climate crisis at Davos

One of the pioneers of the aesthetics of ‘data painting’, world-famous Turkish media artist Refik Anadol created a new site-specific installation at Davos, aiming to address climate crisis, one of the biggest problems facing humanity. 

The data sculpture, which he called “Artificial Realities: Coral”, is based on nearly 1 billion images of coral that have been processed with machine learning classification models. 

It connects a digital ecosystem of data and a natural environment brimming with countless living ecosystems, aiming to use the potential of both the Metaverse and blockchain economies to alleviate global climate change issues. 

“This artwork focuses hundreds of billions of images of underwater flora and fauna to see if there’s any chance to reconstruct what we lost in ecosystems,” the artist told Anadolu Agency. 

“Generative artificial intelligence (AI) reconstructs nearly (entirely) realistic creatures, outputs that hopefully one day can be used underwater to create an ecosystem,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, due to climate change, we lost a majority of our coral and the question at the forum is how we can use the arts and science and technology to reconstruct what’s been lost.” 

Stating that the World Economic Forum (WEF) attaches importance to creative AI techniques to address issues like climate change, Anadol said he used cutting-edge algorithms in the project, “probably the most complex artificial intelligence in the world in this field.” 

“Our goal was to answer the question of what we can do to recover the value of the first damaged assets, like coral. We wanted to try to understand this not just in the physical world, but also in the Metaverse. In this sense, we tried to produce coral very close to reality.” 

“We’ve transformed this activity into an artistic work, and we’ve been able to create the sound we hear, the visuals we see and, in addition, the smell – the AI-based artificial ocean scent,” he added. 

“I think this is the first time a Turkish artist is sharing work on this platform and on this scale. I’m very proud.” 

The WEF kicked off on Monday in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, with heads of state and business leaders focusing on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and economic instability amid climate crisis. 

Under the theme of ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’, names influencing global politics and the business world are participating in the forum. 

The meeting will also see the attendance of 56 finance ministers, 19 central bank heads, 30 trade ministers, and 35 foreign ministers. 

It will bring together more than 2,700 leaders from 130 countries, including 50 heads of state and government, as multiple crises deepen divisions and fragment the geopolitical landscape. 

This year will also see the highest-ever business participation at Davos, with more than 1,500 leaders from 700 organizations.

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