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Japan

On Tiny Japanese Island, Stoic Recovery For Forgotten Victims Of Tsunami

Japan’s March 11 tsunami smashed head on into tiny Oshima Island. Five months later, recovery is slow, especially since Oshima – like many other isolated islets – has been left to fend for itself. One bright spot is a volunteer group calling itself the “k

Philippe Pons

OSHIMA – Five months after the disaster, the small island of Oshima continues to paint a picture of total devastation. The island's small port is desolate. The almost completely submerged docks are barely visible above the water. Two heavy ferry boats rest on the shore, where they were tossed up by the tsunami. The roofs of wrecked houses are nearly hidden under mounds of rubble.

The island is 30 minutes away by boat from the port of Kesennuma, northeast of another island called Hunshu, which fared far better during Japan's monster March 11 earthquake and tsunami. That's because Oshima served as a kind of shield for Hunshu, taking the full blast of the sea. But like so many other islands in the Tohoku region and in other isolated areas of Japan, Oshima seems to have been forgotten by Japanese authorities.

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Future

Robot Artists And Us: Who Decides The Aesthetics Of AI?

Ai-Da is touted as the first bonafide robot artist. But should we consider her paintings and poetry original or creative? Is this even art at all?

Ai-Da at work

Leah Henrickson and Simone Natale

Ai-Da sits behind a desk, paintbrush in hand. She looks up at the person posing for her, and then back down as she dabs another blob of paint onto the canvas. A lifelike portrait is taking shape. If you didn’t know a robot produced it, this portrait could pass as the work of a human artist.

Ai-Da is touted as the “first robot to paint like an artist”, and an exhibition of her work called Leaping into the Metaverse opened at the Venice Biennale.

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