Performativity · Sculpt/Install · Social/Politics · Technology

The Turing Normalizing Machine: An experiment in machine learning & algorithmic prejudice

In the 1930s British Mathematician Alan Turing studied normal numbers. During World War 2 he cracked the Nazi Enigma code, and then laid the foundations for computing and artificial intelligence. In the 1950s he was convicted of homosexuality and was chemically castrated. And in June 7th 1954, depressed by the anti-homosexuality medical treatment, and alienated by the society who deemed him abnormal, Alan Turing ate a cyanide laced apple.

In the following decades many of Turing’s ideas have materialized through the digital revolution, while many of them are still being researched. Inspired by Turing’s life and research we seek to finally crack the greatest enigma of all:

“Who is normal?”

Learn more about this project by Yonatan Ben Simhon & Mushon Zer-Aviv HERE

Human-ities · Philosophy · Science · Technology

A Look at the Original Roots of Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, and Neuroscience? Steven Pinker moderates Noam Chomsky, Marvin Minsky, Barbara H. Partee, Patrick H. Winston, and Emilio Bizzi

Moderator: Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

* Emilio Bizzi, MIT Institute Professor; Founding Member, McGovern Institute for Brain Research

* Sydney Brenner, Senior Distinguished Fellow, Crick-Jacobs Center, Salk Institute? for Biological Studies

* Noam Chomsky, MIT Institute Professor, Emeritus; Department of Linguistics and Philosophy

* Marvin Minsky, Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, Emeritus, MIT?

* Barbara H. Partee PhD ’65, Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Philosophy, University of Massachusetts

* Patrick H. Winston ’65 SM ’67 PhD ’70, Ford Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, MIT?; Principal Investigator, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Chairman and Co-founder, Ascent Technology

See this panel HERE. Photo above via

Animalia · Design · Technology

Design and print your own robot: MIT project, funded with $10 million NSF grant, could transform robotic design and production

MIT is leading an ambitious new project to reinvent how robots are designed and produced. Funded by a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project will aim to develop a desktop technology that would make it possible for the average person to design, customize and print a specialized robot in a matter of hours.

“This research envisions a whole new way of thinking about the design and manufacturing of robots, and could have a profound impact on society,” says MIT Professor Daniela Rus, leader of the project and a principal investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “We believe that it has the potential to transform manufacturing and to democratize access to robots.”

“Our goal is to develop technology that enables anyone to manufacture their own customized robot. This is truly a game changer,” says Professor Vijay Kumar, who is leading the team from the University of Pennsylvania. “It could allow for the rapid design and manufacture of customized goods, and change the way we teach science and technology in high schools.” Continue HERE

Text and Image via MIT News

Festivals · Film/Video/New Media · Motion Graphics

The Creator

The Creator explores the legendary myth of the father of the computer age and maker of AI (Artificial Intelligence) machines, Alan Turing. Combining Lynchian nightmare with the prophetic themes of J.G. Ballard, The Creator takes you into the surreal dream world of the visionary scientist, where his binary children embark upon a mystical quest to discover their origins and destiny in the universe. This unique new film commission premieres on the occasion of the centenary of Turing’s birth. Contains scenes of a sexual nature and optical effects.

Written and directed by Al & Al

Showing as part of Abandon Normal Devices Festival Preview, Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival 2012

Text and Image via Cornerhouse

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Human-ities · Philosophy · Technology · Theory

Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing

Upress: Humanity has sat at the center of philosophical thinking for too long. The recent advent of environmental philosophy and posthuman studies has widened our scope of inquiry to include ecosystems, animals, and artificial intelligence. Yet the vast majority of the stuff in our universe, and even in our lives, remains beyond serious philosophical concern.

In Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing, Ian Bogost develops an object-oriented ontology that puts things at the center of being—a philosophy in which nothing exists any more or less than anything else, in which humans are elements but not the sole or even primary elements of philosophical interest. And unlike experimental phenomenology or the philosophy of technology, Bogost’s alien phenomenology takes for granted that all beings interact with and perceive one another. This experience, however, withdraws from human comprehension and becomes accessible only through a speculative philosophy based on metaphor.

Providing a new approach for understanding the experience of things as things, Bogost also calls on philosophers to rethink their craft. Drawing on his own background as a videogame designer, Bogost encourages professional thinkers to become makers as well, engineers who construct things as much as they think and write about them.

Ian Bogost is professor of digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His most recent book is How to Do Things with Videogames (Minnesota, 2011).

Human-ities · Philosophy · Technology

The Future of Moral Machines

Leif Parsons

A robot walks into a bar and says, “I’ll have a screwdriver.” A bad joke, indeed. But even less funny if the robot says “Give me what’s in your cash register.”

The fictional theme of robots turning against humans is older than the word itself, which first appeared in the title of Karel Čapek’s 1920 play about artificial factory workers rising against their human overlords. Just 22 years later, Isaac Asimov invented the “Three Laws of Robotics” to serve as a hierarchical ethical code for the robots in his stories: first, never harm a human being through action or inaction; second, obey human orders; last, protect oneself. From the first story in which the laws appeared, Asimov explored their inherent contradictions. Great fiction, but unworkable theory.

The prospect of machines capable of following moral principles, let alone understanding them, seems as remote today as the word “robot” is old. Some technologists enthusiastically extrapolate from the observation that computing power doubles every 18 months to predict an imminent “technological singularity” in which a threshold for machines of superhuman intelligence will be suddenly surpassed. Many Singularitarians assume a lot, not the least of which is that intelligence is fundamentally a computational process. The techno-optimists among them also believe that such machines will be essentially friendly to human beings. I am skeptical about the Singularity, and even if “artificial intelligence” is not an oxymoron, “friendly A.I.” will require considerable scientific progress on a number of fronts.

Written by COLIN ALLEN, NYT. Continue HERE

Digital Media · Performativity · Technology

Evie from Existor…perhaps a boring Artificially Intelligent dialogue…perhaps a profound one

Existor creates conversational AI for business, education and entertainment.

On their site they say: There are no limits. Artificial Intelligence is communication. Natural language is universal.

Evie was created by Existor.

Evie is an Electronic Virtual Interactive Entity.

Evie is being trained now and will know more and more about Existor.