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Introducing a virtual popstar

Yona enjoying herself in a psychedelic environment

Through discussion and performance we introduce you to AI popstar Yona – one of the world’s foremost virtual entertainers.

Yona was created by Auxuman, a company that builds virtual entertainers. Yona is the brainchild of musician Ash Koosha and artist Isabella Winthrop, who 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 that belies its ‘artificial’ production. Yona develops in accordance with aggregate data of users online, and calls  us to consider collective consciousness, machine creativity and online ownership.

The evening begins with a conversation between Ash, Auxuman co-founder Negar Shaghaghi and Wire deputy editor Emily Bick, 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 multi-media performance by Yona.

Produced by Barbican in partnership with Dazed to coincide with our major summer exhibition AI: More than Human 


photo of lil miquela

Listen: AI music

Can a computer create its own score? Will bots replace DJs? We open our ears to music that is using artificial intelligence to enhance, shape or inspire their output.

Mirai Moriyama & Alter

More than Human Chatbot

Can AI get lonely? Our More than Human chatbot seems to think so. Start up a conversation with it now to discuss the big issues surrounding AI, and stop its lonely bot-heart from breaking.

photo of suzanne livingston and maholo uchida

What makes us human?



What makes us human? Why do we fear artificial intelligence and robots?

AI: More than Human curators Suzanne Livingston and Maholo Uchida unpack the big questions explored in this interactive exhibition.

Frobisher Auditorium 1