Smart Hans n/a

Once there was a horse with an unbelievable skill. The horse was called “Clever Hans” because it could read people’s minds. The horse could guess any number you were thinking of. For example, if you had the number 84 on your mind, Clever Hans would look at you, tap its foot 84 times, and then stop.
How did Clever Hans do this? Of course, Clever Hans could not actually read your mind. But Clever Hans could analyze body postures. It saw the tension rising in your body when it started tapping, it noticed the slight jerk of your head when it reached your imagined number and stopped tapping. This happened 100 years ago. Today, machines can do this too.
Based on an existing prototype I will create an interactive installation with an animated horse that detects the number on your mind via posture recognition. The synthetic reincarnation “Smart Hans” appears in life size on a 2 meters tall screen with a camera attached.

Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by COCA.

Max Haarich


Max Haarich (he/his) is an artistic researcher and tech ethicist. He has studied communication science at RWTH Aachen (DE) and Critical Thinking at the University of the Underground (US). After his studies he researched Artificial Superintelligence at RWTH Aachen and later worked as Manager Communications for Europe’s leading startup center before he quit his job to found the Munich Embassy of the Lithuanian artist republic Užupis.

Max Haarich is lecturer for the University of the Underground and Director of the Užupis University’s Institute for Applied Paradox. He is reviewer for international journals like Leonardo by MIT press. He is member of leading committees around artificial intelligence and art like the European AI Alliance, AI4EU, the Goethe A(I)lliance, Bosch Cultural Managers Network and Mozilla’s working group on trustworthy AI. His work aims to reveal and challenge predominant paradigms to explore yet unthinkable ideas.

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