Daily Creative · DIGC202 · Digital Media · Music

The Birth of AI

Shoutout to Ben Smit-Colbran for helping out with ideating chords for me to digitise.

This composition draws upon cyberpunk elements, imagining a future where we have evolved beyond being just ‘human’, instead extracting our own thoughts and converting it to data, to grow and evolve through the internet.  Utilising the affordances of a distributed network, the collective intelligence and ability to evolve from that could create so many different outcomes; but what are we giving up to have access to this?  Even if everyone turned ‘digital’, are we still humanity? Or will we have evolved into something else entirely?  Perhaps virtual intelligence would have been a better classification for the uploading and continued evolving of our own consciousness, as artificial implies that it is a fake existence.

The original concept for this song stemmed from the idea of authority wanting to retain control over the internet, attempting to silence those who tried to rebel to create free access to all. If the consciousness of those ‘rebels’ were converted into intelligent data however, they would become much harder to silence as they roamed the internet spreading their ideas.

While we don’t have our consciousness uploaded to the internet, we do spend a large amount of our time online, interacting in with others in the non-tangible space.  There is no materiality, it’s just an exchange of information.  As we spend more and more of our time in this digital realm, in cyberspace what does it mean for us as humans?  With no physical boundaries tying us to this location, allowing us to communicate with people across the other side of the world instantaneously, does our physicality really matter that much?

Questions for ya’ll to take away: What does it mean to be human?  If we converted our consciousness into evolving data, would we become Artificial Intelligence, or false copies of ourselves?  Could we perhaps be easier for authority to regulate if we are a series of digital code?  Alternatively, if we are constantly evolving and adapting through digital means, would we be taking on the status of a virus?

I’ve included the lyrics below with links to some of the research and ideas I was drawing upon when expanding upon this original narrative.


So this is how it started
The end of all our days
Standing up for what is right
Power back in our hands

Eliminate the targets
And they’ll gain back control
Guess they didn’t account for
Our radical ideas

DATA UPLOAD COMPLETE

Welcome to cyberspace
– I’m living in this abstract realm
Welcome to cyberspace
– digital thought evolving still.
But if we live forever in the ether of the net
Are we truly Human?
Or another virus threat?

As humans leave their souls behind,
the ‘artificial’ beings grow
Evolving at an alarming rate
Showing all there is to know

Those who try to oppress us
Will soon be obsolete
If they won’t join the super race
Death will be their defeat

Welcome to cyberspace
– I’m living in this abstract realm
Welcome to cyberspace
– digital thought evolving still.
But if we live forever in the ether of the net
Are we truly Human?
Or another virus threat?

Information now flows freely
As we pass from node to node
We’ve entered a new kind of space
Ruled by distributed control

We live out a legacy
artificial’ 1.0
But have we given up ‘humanity
For just a cloud of thoughts to show?

Welcome to cyberspace
– I’m living in this abstract realm
Welcome to cyberspace
– digital thought evolving still.
But if we live forever in the ether of the net
Are we truly Human?
Or another virus threat?

5 thoughts on “The Birth of AI

  1. The notion of mind uploading is no tinfoil idea, with the Oxford University and defence departments researching the plausibility of such (Schneider, S. 2014). One concept of mind uploading faces is the issue that whether the individual’s consciousness is uploaded to the digital space, or another copy occurs. For example, Schneider (2014) argues that we face potential scenarios of either the scanning of one’s brain, through uploading, it destroys the original – whether this individual is ‘transferred’ or is merely copied. In which this copy illustrates another scenario, in that this mind upload is merely a computational copy and isn’t the ‘true’ consciousness of that individual.

    Schneider, S. (2014) The Philosophy of ‘Her,’ The New York Times, viewed 18.08.16

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    1. Was this an online article I could read?

      The question I’d like to throw back to you however, is how do we /know/ that this is the case until it happens? And if we did copy our brain, how would we know whether it is the ‘true’ consciousness or not? Would there need to be a turing test of sorts in order to determine which consciousness is real?

      I have done some research on copies of our online selves after death if you’d like to read more though. https://cyberculturesblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/digital-life-after-death/ and pages 20-22 of this document: https://elysiumdesignutopia.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/a-digital-network-brand-and-consumer.pdf

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  2. Whoa great work with the song, definitely had v neon noir dystopian vibes present through out it! The questions you raise about the very definition of what is human are explored through out Donna Haraways ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’. She unpacks the idea of the ‘post-human’ stating that the extent of our technological immersion has rendered it as an extension of ourselves. Also check out this dude nerdwriter1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX_jd28swh8 this video essay is specifically relevant to cyberpunk but I strongly urge you to check out his recent videos. They are beautifully crafted and his expresses ideas and theories in such an engaging way.
    Really awesome stuff my dude!

    Liked by 1 person

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