Come Meet One Of The World’s First AI Popstars At The Barbican Talk

These days AI is doing every other thing that a man can do, right from driving cars to writing poems. At the Barbican exhibition AI: More Than Human, we get introduced to one of the world’s first AI popstars.

The name of this AI popstar is Yona. The company behind the creation of this AI popstar is Auxuman. Auxuman builds virtual entertainers and the worlds they live in.



Yona is the brainchild of musician Ash Koosha and artist Isabella Winthrop.

Ash Koosha and Isabella Winthrop programmed her with the ability to create her own lyrics, chords, and melodies. The result is atmospheric electronic music that has complexity and emotional depth.





Yona music is haunting and complex, layered with emotion that transcends any assumptions of artificial production. In this exhibition, she performs with her creator, London-based, Iranian interdisciplinary artist Koosha.

The Return O, was released on Koosha’s label Realms, a practice in humanizing machine-driven art.

Yona develops in accordance with aggregate data of users online and calls us to consider collective consciousness, machine creativity, and online ownership.




The Barbican’s Anna Holsgrove told Something Curated, “AI is at a critical point in its development and public interest in the subject is gaining momentum.”

She continues, “Over the past few years, AI has shifted from a technology that most people thought only existed in the far future or the realm of science fiction to something that is entwined with our daily lives.”

“The output from an AI is governed by the instructions that are input by humans. That makes it important to consider now the information that we will give AIs to use in the future.”




The evening at the Barbican begins with a conversation between Ash and Auxuman co-founder Negar Shaghaghi, focusing on the creation of Yona; how and why she came into existence, and what might be next, as well as the wider topic of AI and creativity.

The event concludes with a unique multi-media performance by Yona herself, which is not to be missed.

The exhibition AI: More Than Human has been all about exploring the creative and scientific developments in artificial intelligence, from the future-facing literature of the late cultural theorist Mark Fisher and curator Suzanne Livingston to the sounds of Kode9 and Lauren McCarthy’s real-life Alexa.

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