Anatomy of an AI System

“At this moment in the 21st century, we see a new form of extractivism that is well underway: one that reaches into the furthest corners of the biosphere and the deepest layers of human cognitive and affective being. Many of the assumptions about human life made by machine learning systems are narrow, normative and laden with error. Yet they are inscribing and building those assumptions into a new world, and will increasingly play a role in how opportunities, wealth, and knowledge are distributed.”

[read the whole paper here]

Holly Herndon’s Eternal Video

“Holly Herndon’s video for her dizzying new song “Eternal” follows the lonely journey of a machine as it analyzes and connects to a human face. It’s blurry and disorienting: a collage of eyes, ears, and mouths materializing in front of the camera, soundtracked by one of the most direct melodies Herndon has ever composed. Synth-orchestra blasts beam in from Y2K pop radio. A dance rhythm keeps stalling out while it’s buffering. “Right in front of my eyes,” a choir sings, slowly, in unison”.

[via]

Dio, an AI Sculpture

“After Snell finished creating the 3D model, he disassembled the computer he made it on and ground it to dust using a specially-designed sealed box. This included the computer’s enclosure, its hard drive, its RAM and its graphics processing unit. He then 3D-printed a mold of Dio and cast the sculpture into this mold using resin and the ground remains of the computer.”
[via]

The First Catastrophe of the 21st Century

Talking about road accidents and robots…

Nam June Paik, The First Catastrophe of the 21st Century, 1982
Location: 75th Street and Madison Avenue, Manhattan, outside of The Whitney Museum

“For this performance, the robot K-456 was removed from its pedestal at the Whitney Museum of American Art, which hosted Paik’s retrospective exhibition, and guided by the artist down the street to the intersection of 75th Street and Madison Avenue. When crossing the avenue, the robot was “accidentally” hit by an automobile driven by artist Bill Anastasi. With this performance Paik suggested the potential problems that arise when technologies collide out of human control. After the “collision”, K-456 was returned to its pedestal in the Museum.”

[source]

Something is wrong on the internet

The increasing weirdness of kids targeted content on Youtube is something I began to notice last year, after the birth of my first daughter. James Bridle went down the rabbit hole of this genre, and found very frightening stuff:

“This is being done by people and by things and by a combination of things and people. Responsibility for its outcomes is impossible to assign but the damage is very, very real indeed”.

Something is wrong on the Internet

Real or Fake?

Powerful machine-learning techniques (see “The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI”) are making it increasingly easy to manipulate or generate realistic video and audio, and to impersonate anyone you want with amazing accuracy.

[via Technology Review]