After combining biology with engineering by introducing life sciences at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the now President Emeritus of the institution is convinced that innovation blossoms at the boundaries of disciplines. For him, new technologies can fertilize art, culture and the human sciences. Despite some difficulties with EPFL's Venice Time Machine project, he is so convinced of this that after having created the ArtTech Foundation to facilitate these pollinations, he is preparing a venture capital fund to finance start-ups resulting from this hybridization. Exclusive interview.
What motivates your passion for the application of new technologies to the arts and culture?
Patrick Aebischer: The realization that one of the great challenges of the 21st century will be to provide content to new technologies. Robotics combined with artificial intelligence will probably free humanity from repetitive and boring tasks. This will free up time during which we can feed and enrich our brains. And art and culture are certainly among the best ways to achieve these objectives.