lou suSi @ MassArt

2011 MFA Design graduate from DMI

February 2, 2013
by lou suSi
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To be human

To be human is to be ‘a’ human, a specific person with a life history and idiosyncrasy and point of view; artificial intelligence suggest that the line between intelligent machines and people blurs most when a puree is made of that identity.

— Brian ChristianThe Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

January 23, 2013
by lou suSi
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shadows on the wall

i think a lot about spectrums — i focused on the spectrum of creative expression for parts and portions of my design thesis work, not all of the research making it into the final book ( of course ) — i also, at times, return to thinking about the spectrum that moves from data to wisdom — my estimation lists that spectrum, and i’m not exactly sure how to categorize it ( is it a spectrum of learning acquisition? maybe the spectrum to eventual spiritual wisdom? i’m not sure ), but it seems to move from raw data to information to story to knowledge ( which i consider to be the accumulation of information ) to wisdom ( which i think of as the destruction of knowledge to reach through and beyond to something more meaningful than mere knowledge ) — and now, most recently, i’ve been thinking about and actively researching another spectrum, this spectrum of human experience, is that what i should call it? maybe its the spectrum of intelligence, specifically maybe artificial intelligence, right?

today i thought, ‘there’s definitely a reason why its called ‘artificial intelligence’ and not just ‘intelligence,’ right?’

this new spectrum, and it might be a little forced or fabricated at this point — forgive me, i’m still trying to figure it out — this spectrum moves from robots to puppets, or maybe even the other way ’round, not sure

it might have to do, also, with the concept of animation and emotional attachmentanthropomorphism or personification, maybe — but i think, once again, i am purposefully mixing materialism with emotional dynamics, moving from the inanimate as a puppetpuppets need a human operator to move and voice a personality / persona / character in live, real-time performance scenarios — to the animate as a robotrobots are programmed to simulate certain sequences of movement via algorithm, code, conditionals and variables, robots are pre-coded, pre-destined to do everything they do, including any simulation of emotion or surprise, any sense of real humanness — there are also more utilitarian and entertainment-based devicery such as our smartphones, tablets, laptops and numerous omnipresent, ubiquitous electronic accoutrements and extensions of our solely human capabilities, and these inventions seem to live somewhere between the world of puppets and robots, we also seem to believe these non-living things actually have human traits and feelings ( for instance, when a laptop displays a spinner icon to indicate the system is slow, its actually not working efficiently enough, not behaving or performing up to modernday speedy standards of ultra convenience, we say that the laptop is ‘thinking’ — we all, however, know this is complete and utter nonsense — the laptop is in NO WAY ‘thinking’ in any human sense of the notion of ‘thinking’its processing, and its processing slowly at that ) — and then there are people, and we also seem to live in some betweenSpace or periphery amongst these machines and toys we constantly introduce into the technohumanic post-natural ecosystem, this wonderful posthuman uncanny valley we constantly cultivate like a gardenful of overgrown wires and wireless technologies

is this really a luscious garden though, marvelously extending human capabilities around thinking, memory, calculation and analysis? or did we create something a little lower in the uncanny valley than we could have ever imagined? is there a little cave at the base of the valley, a warm, glowing chasm, perhaps? a passage that goes deeper and deeper, beyond the uncanny valley — ( deeper is a funny notion, sounding both more intellectually rich but also somehow closer to the core of the Earth itself, maybe closer still to Hell )

people are natural meaning-making machines — i believe we’re not machines at all, but we do have this natural ability to try and make sense of it all, we fill in the gaps, we humanize almost every problem we can’t seem to fathom a possible alternate explanation for — we extend our internal emotionality, through live action puppetry or through programmatic simulation of real, human character and philosophic reason — we magically ( and mutuallypossess these things of interaction we invent and use on a daily basis, and they possess us back — so what’s the real heirarchy / taxonomy / array of items to consider in this spectrum of intelligence?

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