Dead Ringers (1988)
The Mind of AI and "Dead Ringers"
We seem to be living through some sort of an AI blossom after the AI winter that began in the mid 1980’s. In the intervening years, many in the tech community had given up on the hope of AI. However, the rise of cheap, heavy-computation-friendly GPUs meant the birth of “machine learning,” “data science,” and “(un-)supervised learning” to train models. With these models trained, applications could be built that churned out uncanny and remarkably good results e.g. ChatGPT4.
For the first time in recent memory, it seems that specific-purpose, if not general-purpose, AI may be a fact of our lifetimes.
And this is just the beginning.
Not only are AI manipulating strings of text seemingly intelligently, they’re generating art and images from text as well. We’re even using AI to create new artifacts for special purpose. For example, an AI-designed aerospace product was recently commissioned by NASA. The component looks more like an alien spacecraft or biomechanical art than a functional component. But it functions to its purpose and meets the prescribed tolerances.
This product is eerily different, freed as it is from the burdens of humanity’s history of ideas around Earthbound biomechanical motion:
or Earthly geometry as in Euclid’s Elements:
or Earthly paradigms around materials’ behavior and economic constraints.
It’s trite, but necessary and profound to note:
Alien intelligences produce staggeringly alien artifacts.1
But can we see alien intelligence’s products among us today? I’m sure there are factual examples, but what came to my mind were the alien-looking artifacts the created by alienated among us in art. In the AI-designed space components, I saw an aesthetic similarity to the Gynecological Devices for Operating on Mutant Women from the 1988 David Cronenberg film, “Dead Ringers.”
- Alexander’s Corner
- Leveraged Fried Chicken Buyouts – About a visit to Grandy’s
- Ayn Randiness – The industrial pornography of Ayn Rand
- Cursive – About learning to embrace cursive and fountain pens
- Around the Internet
- Grid World by Alex Miller: I still fondly remember the first time I saw quadrille paper. Over the years I’ve used it to make D&D maps, record video games, and even do the proofs for my logic class. It’s a wonderful and powerful and simple tool that opens so many imagined spaces. Here’s a celebration of what grids give us – also, tons of interesting web design/web art.