Amid urgent discussions over artificial intelligence (AI) and art, Egypt-born, Scotland based Ahmed El Shaer’s AI Heaven investigates the intriguing territory where machine learning meets human faith. In still images and short animations, El Shaer sets AI processes to work on Islamic art, producing eerie, beautiful and bizarre images that suggest a metaphysics of machinery.  This is imagery entirely absent of human intervention, avoiding the typical – even stereotypical – iconography of traditional religious art.  AI Heaven ponders one of the great unanswerables of the age we find ourselves in: we may be able to feed data to machines to the point where they are able to convincingly simulate thought, but can they ever be trained to believe?

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