(edited by) Vuk Ćosić, Régine Debatty, Vladan Joler – E-Relevance – The Role of Arts and Culture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence


Council of Europe, ISBN 978-9287191496, English, 272 pages, 2022, France

This is an edited anthology of texts that offer critical positions on AI and its all-encompassing effects on society. In the introduction, Ćosić demands a clear position from the European Union that enlightens and protects societies and individuals. There are substantial texts dealing with various crucial aspects and debates surrounding AI, such as the classic Anatomy of an AI System by Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler, Andreas Brockmann explains and expands on the main concepts of AI, Felix Stalder presents an excerpt from his book Digital Condition, focusing on the absolute power of algorithms in constituting our knowledge, and Regine Debatty offers some contextual contributions from her renowned WMMNA blog. In addition, there are contributions from the ‘usual suspects’, such as Lev Manovich, Joana Moll, Bruce Sterling, Matteo Pasquinelli and a dialogue between Hito Steyerl and Kate Crawford. Published by the Council of Europe, the book ends with a selection of artworks and a short sequence of ‘best practises’. The point of such a compendium seems to be to provide an expert and heterogeneous overview of the lively debate about the role of AI in art and culture at a particularly confusing moment of transition. The content fulfils this task by bringing together materials that have already emerged in different contexts under a unifying critical perspective.