The Black box

Computer algorithms already shape our lives in ways most of us will never understand. We live in an increasingly complex world where information outstrips human capacity for understanding, and where only the power of machine learning can hope to find patterns within this insurmountable deluge. Today a dwindling band of humans understands the algorithms and the inferences being drawn by these powerful machines, and increasingly a greater number of decisions are being made in the absence of human insight, often referred to as the ‘black box problem’.

At some point in the near future, no human will be capable of understanding much of what is discovered by these machines. As advances in artificial intelligence continue, the eventual evolution of artificial superintelligence will lead to exponential cycles of self-improvement on the AIs themselves. This will result in an ‘intelligence explosion’ where these machines will become vastly more intelligent than the humans who created them in a very short period of time. This point is referred to as the ‘technological singularity’, an event horizon on human understanding and knowledge, and the dawn of a post-human world.

Visual Design

I started the process with a literal black box, which would be suspended without context within nebulous ether. The interior of the box would contain glimpses of an inscrutable process: transient flux/abstract circuits/esoteric data-streams.

Music and Sound Design

The music had to represent the balance of the humanity and the machine. Micro-rhythms and percussion form the mechanistic backbone of the track while humanities melodic lamentation is expressed through piano and strings.

The word ‘Artilect’ was coined by Dr Hugo de Garis in 2005.

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