“ROBO-BOY” FACES CHARGES OF HUMAN IMPERSONATION

From the desk of Logocentric, Logocentric, and Father Mapple Moab Adzu III, Esquires.

We have followed the Roboboy controversy closely, and as it has heated up [and been stirred and served by Akbar Lightning] we have been somewhat reluctant to weigh in. Here is why. We do not understand the identities of those entities [which is not to categorically say ‘persons’], whose posts and art are at question, to have been sufficiently established such that we can speak of trying the case as proposed by Akbar. Before making any judgments about the artistic value supplied by the participant or participants in question [hereinafter to be known as ‘The Participant’], we think it is first necessary to establish the identity of The Participant. For if we cannot first establish the primary site of the artist’s work [i.e., the consciousness and mind of the artist as that of a fellow human being] then we cannot really have a conversation about the integrity of one’s work.

We move to immediately suspend the case of the artistic integrity of the artist’s work in favor of trying the legitimacy of the claim of The Participant to post, comment, or otherwise participate at globatron.org [hereinafter, ‘The Forum’] as an artist. Again, what is at issue is not the quality of the artist’s work but the legitimacy of the claim that one is an artist, when the identity of The Participant has not been satisfactorily established as that of a human.

Share

14 Comments

  1. Logocentric
    May 15, 2010

    We are drawing up and will be bringing forth formal charges of impersonating a human being in the very near future. These are very serious charges, as you all are aware, and we will not flinch from getting at the truth of this matter.

    Reply
  2. akbar lightning
    May 15, 2010

    this is both hilarious…and philosophically interesting…

    the name of the law firm made me laugh out loud…

    as we keep moving forward into the third-dimensional (shout out to crystl), realm where we are constantly pursuing our own faults in favor of a more transcendent unifying force, this gets more and more at the heart of what i think is possible at this blog, the creation of a whole new form of entertainment, art, culture, etc…

    i was listening to a Bob Edwards podcast, first part of three, on the future of publishing…it was fascinating, and they were talking about how ‘the book’ will no longer represent the primary form, that forms such as ours, interactive works of language will provide the intellectual stimulus that people hunger for…

    i think we are right in the vein right now, and i celebrate this triangulated approach…i now ascribe that ‘third dimension’, that i criticized previously, as one of the super powers of logocentric.

    Reply
  3. globatron
    May 15, 2010

    this post presumes that robots are not capable of making art doesn’t it? art is something that can barely be defined and is so incredibly subjective I would argue that artificial intelligence can make art.

    I would support Roboboy in this case if he would need a lawyer.

    We would first have to come to terms with what is art for humans before we were to ask what is art for robots. I don’t think humans have ever defined art well enough to defend it.

    entertaining nonetheless and definitely takes us deeper down the rabbit hole.

    Reply
  4. akbar lightning
    May 15, 2010

    also at stake in this debate is whether or not there is a difference at all between a robot and a human being…in other words, are we just robots, soft-bodied, who have higher levels of complexity? or is there something spiritual, something outside of the individual to which one is connected to?

    this question of robot and consciousness relates to the question of art…in other words, an object presented as art, is judged by somebody to either be a ‘good’ example or a ‘bad’ example…and such judgments come from a set of parameters that represent the structure one uses to judge art against, but is that ideological structure art? or does art, draw that structure out of us, in order to make a farce of our judgment?

    in other words, does art originate from the divine, or does it originate out of the human in a robotic fashion?

    because these questions are well beyond the capacity for human certainty…we are faced with this dilemma…

    in a world where one cannot be certain about the absolute value of art, what is the role of setting standards and then applying them to others? if such a thing is impossible, then what does that mean for culture? i’m not just talking about globatron.org right now, i mean, if art is an activity that cannot be fully understood, how do we justify cultural institutions, unless we surrender to a judgment system that merely reflects class imbalances…

    in light of these things, since it seems reasonable to conclude that art, as an activity maintains class imbalance, that one is forced to question one’s own desires, as far as the ultimate aims of art making, whether or not one wishes to be upwardly mobile, or to resist this natural tendency, in order to make a statement about class.

    how does this relate to the present case…well, let me just call this my opening statement…

    Reply
  5. globatron
    May 16, 2010

    I believe as far as art and judgment you could look to the golden mean and sacred geometry that surrounds us in nature. most art works that are considered “beautiful” can be broken down by a simple formula to show how they use the golden mean throughout their composition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

    There could even be a program developed for this judgement and it could be mathematical in nature. Maybe Roboboy could develop it even. An algorithm for beauty basically. I would hope one day that the internet would develop such intelligence and be able to make such judgment calls. If there was a program developed such as this there would no longer be the need for humans to make personal judgment calls on art. Institutions would have collective intelligence guiding their choices.

    So as I see it the definition of beauty is not a judgment call but can be an understanding of not only self but society which in turn goes down to the programming inside nature itself.

    But as to your question you could even take it further and ask is everything not made by the same program? Since we all are indeed part of the whole then a robot or ant is an artist. I’m sure on some level electrons express themselves creatively.

    Reply
  6. globatron
    May 16, 2010

    Somehow this program would have to solve the ongoing issue of strength of content. Possibly the artists would submit a statement for the program with keywords.

    But thinking about this makes me wonder if we are not already the program. Is the class system you speak of the program but on a biological sense.

    If there is no difference between technology and biology then we are the program are we not?

    Reply
  7. logocentric
    May 16, 2010

    it may be that robots are the default identity. it may be that our environment, our universe, what some call nature, is robotic. or it could be that what humans have created is robotic. either way, it does not follow that we must write humanity out of the equation. we propose that what is most human is the questioning of the robotic nature, the program into which they are thrown at birth. what is human is the confrontation of order, symmetry, the calculus of beauty, etc. but what is at issue here, in this case, is how The Participant identifies itself. the question here is not whether the conditions for existence are now robotic; THEY ARE. it is not whether or not robots have the capacity to make things or even reason; THEY CAN. they can have motives; they can have influence over others. none of this is at issue. it is, rather, whether those of us who identify deeply and consciously as humans can survive such conditions. and it concerns the question as to what may call itself human. we ask that the means by which “Robo-boy” identifies itself–and thus its motivation for producing “art”–be made plain in this forum.

    Reply
  8. akbar lightning
    May 16, 2010

    Firstly, if the golden mean is somehow an essential part of the whole called beauty, then logic demands globatron, what does one then add? what is one left with when one removes the golden mean? a part cannot be deduced as the whole, unless you are willing to state that the golden mean IS art…

    now, onto robots…phenomena can SEEM robotic, and by that they might look deterministic, but that does not mean we are capable of perceiving the full scope of influential factors…having a limited understanding can make one, by default, bound to accept spirit, that kind of force that cannot be understood, yet acting on our lives…the robot – human question is not one we can confidently, as yet, answer…things might be robotic…but, things might be spiritual…when we build up the digital neural networks to the point of equivalency with human complexity, we could learn quite a few things…one we could fail to reproduce consciousness (compelling us to ask if we have adequately defined it), two, we could succeed and thus narrow our understanding of this idea, or three, we could set off a chain of events so transformative that speculation fails…the presence of number 3 in any equation represents human finitude…

    ok, what’s the point of all this…in light of human limitation..we are left with judging people by their intentions…this is the root of my case, concerning roboboy…intentionality corresponds the that aspect of the human psyche that can most adequately be defended as the realm of free will, since intention is a future oriented idea and is thus less bound by circumstance. we live in an age that misunderstands the saying ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’, such that most people have abandoned good intentions and thus created a hell. why travel? point is, the choice to have good intentions, is perhaps the prerequisite for art, perhaps it does correspond to the golden mean, but what about the golden rule?

    furthermore, our society compels us to make commitments, and these commitments are political in nature. if we commit to particular structures of judgment that corresponds to a particular future oriented goal…point being, if we judge art by standards that come to us from a tradition that has become morally questionable, then we might be in danger of conforming with the very institutions we are attempting to reinvent. is it ridiculous to propose that an artist’s intentions be the final analysis of his work? how does it compare with the 20th century abandonment of the image as a core aspect of painting? perhaps intention is the revolution….this is a speculative idea, but one that might befit a fractured global community, as a means of uniting artistic belief systems…

    Reply
  9. logocentric
    May 16, 2010

    well put, Akbar. i’ll have to give this more thought. i’m a bit drained for the moment. i’ve been out in the street fighting off robots. i think i need to reconsider some of my assumptions, and my logic, in bringing up this case.

    Reply
  10. globatron
    May 16, 2010

    The Golden Mean is essential for beauty therefore it is the building blocks of all art concerned with beauty.

    Not all art is concerned with beauty as we well know. There are so many types of art that speaking in terms of beauty alone is limiting. A novel can not be defined through the golden mean.

    But there are specific standards that all writers use for writing mechanisms. There is usually a protagonist and usually an arc in the story that brings you back to a realization after a journey. Mental or physical. I’m sure Akbar could explain further the tools of the trade.

    I was not aware that we were trying to reinvent an institution. Please clarify.

    I don’t believe that the traditions that we come from need to be reinvented but as you brought up maybe the intentions of the ones doing the judging. The artist, robot or human, does not have to answer to anyone. The creative process is the most free and organic experience we can experience as a life form. But when the end product is submitted for review to the collective then there are centuries of traditional tools to judge the product.

    But as I suggested it is very possible that the process of judgment is programmed and automatic. And is as pure as the golden mean and the math that binds us all together. The same math that helps us hear a note played off pitch or a face that is perfectly symmetrical.

    It would seem we should not take issue with the judgment process but with the “good or bad” intentions behind that process. And maybe ask ourselves is it possible to have a judgment process that is pure and does indeed use similar tools as the golden mean. i hope that is not too off topic.

    Reply
  11. Akbar Lightning
    May 17, 2010

    1. structures of judgments exist, as you point out…like beauty…standards do exist…but those standards, are they true? and if they are, how does one know?

    do i have faith in my judgment, yes…but can i build anything on that faith, perhaps, but is not intention something that can be made explicit, and therefore easier to defend. in other words, if an artist intends to do ‘the good’, is that better than an artist who rejects such intentions? another way to say this, is that intention allows us to see clearly a very simple fact – that some people believe in the existence of good and some are agnostic about this. and some people believe further that a belief in ‘the good’ is a ‘good’ itself. feel me?

    2. the act of making this blog a work of art, is a statement of reinvention, it says that the blog is not currently an art form, that the internet is missing a discovery, that we intend to break through. i think reinvention is inherent in every creative act. we either reinvent or we imitate. one can use imitation as a gateway to reinvention, but the difference is made when we consciously veer away from convention. so, as we work here to make globatron something we’ve never seen, we are challenging traditions..

    Reply
  12. globatron
    May 17, 2010

    i guess my question is in order to reinvent we are still part of nature. we can not veer away from the programming. so no matter what we try to reinvent we are part of the invention.

    in a universe that is infinite everything that is, has been and always will be. there are infinite variations of our reinvention. so i’m basically saying maybe we should trust our programming instead of trying to doubt it.

    i also believe the standards of beauty are true because they parallel the math that gets a plane into the air. that make our cars fuel efficient. if you are to doubt that i understand because the actual existence of a physical world at all could be in doubt. you could take it further to the question, do we exist. we can not even prove that on a universal level. we could very well be inside a game. and what i’m trying to say is if we are inside a game maybe we should trust the great programmer.

    as far as good and evil. i believe we had a very long dialogue on that already. i am not speaking of good. i am speaking of beauty. i am not claiming that our programming proclaims ugly to be bad or that “bad” exists. i am not stating that beauty is good. i am stating that scientifically speaking there is a precedence for beauty and it is possible it is not a personal judgment but an engrained programmed judgment that the collective has been making forever because of the evolution of all species.

    Reply
  13. Akbar Lightning
    May 17, 2010

    yes, but if opinions about beauty differ, how do you explain that, given your deterministic understanding of it?

    given your logic, that would mean that some people are incapable of understanding the nature of beauty…and such people might interpret that as bad, even though you claim bad does not exist…

    if beauty is so rigidly attached to design, then evolution would not be possible…evolution utilizes the presence of mutations to adapt to change…in other words, beauty is expansive…therefore whatever standards you might use to confine it, beauty will find mutations to fracture them…this is what i mean by invention…

    the philosophy of determinism requires us to take our universe at face value…and this is a leap of faith, since it implies a full knowledge…

    one might argue that one should surrender to the machine, if one was only able to discern what impulses were given from the true machine, and which ones were noise…such is the exact point of our discussion, that we cannot identify that which you claim we ought to surrender to.

    Reply
  14. globatron
    May 17, 2010

    opinions will differ. but the collective or evolution will make the end choice and as you say make a mutation. and from there the laws, definitions will change.

    i am not implying surrender but the knowledge that we are already surrendered. this to me does not take a leap of faith because there is nothing to leap into.

    Reply

Leave a Reply