Suzanne Livingston at Dezeen Day

The rise of AI means "humans will no longer be centre stage" says Suzanne Livingston

Artificial intelligence will take over from humans and force us to abandon our anthropocentric view of the world, curator and brand consultant Suzanne Livingston said at the Dezeen Day conference this week.

"We will no longer be centre stage," Livingston said during a panel discussion on the future of cities. Humans will have to accept being "surrounded by a diversity of intelligence," she added.

According to Livingston, who curated the AI: More than Human exhibition at the Barbican Centre this summer, this will be difficult for people living in western countries to accept, as they are used to an anthropocentric view of the world.

"In the west we will find this difficult," she explained. "We have a model of the self that is top down, in control, autonomous, rational and the highest form of evolutionary life."

Suzanne Livingston to speak at Dezeen Day
Suzanne Livingston spoke about AI at Dezeen Day

People in western cultures can learn from eastern notions like Shinto, the Japanese religion that does not distinguish between the individual and the community, to develop a relationship with technology that is less hierarchical, she said.

"According to eastern belief systems that we studied in the show, there are some very interesting other ways at looking at the relationship between humans and technology," said Livingston.

"Shinto is an animist religion and it has an idea of kami, or spirit, that puts humans, nature and technology all on the same plain," she said. "So humans are one bit part of a bigger interconnected system."

Livingston took part in a discussion about the future of cities alongside transportation designer Paul Priestman and architect Rachel Armstrong at the conference.

She explained that humans will need to develop new relationships with artificial intelligence and digital systems.

"We are not going to feel in control as we have done in times gone by and we will need to show some kind of affinity and friendliness to all these systems around us that are actually going to be improving things in fundamental ways," she said.

Artificial intelligence is having an increasing impact on the design of cities, with AI tools being developed to help architects.

Designer Sebastian Errazuriz believes that the rise of AI means that architects are "doomed" and that ninety per cent of them will lose their jobs.

Dezeen Day took place on 30 October 2019. Speakers included MoMA curator Paola Antonelli, who said that anger can be more useful than angst in the fight to make a better future for the planet.

Meanwhile speculative architect Liam Young argued that architects would be better equipped for the future if they applied their skills to video-game design.