A FAIRYTALE FROM THE FUTURE
Once upon a time, capitalism had turned most of its operations into quasi-automated matter. Algorithms and artificial intelligence operated according to discriminatory categories. With neural network energy feeding generators humming in the background, a small band of journalists, artists, and researchers gathered at the Berliner Gazette Ambient Revolts conference. Their mission: to tackle questions of how discrimination plays out in capitalism’s automated processes and to debate the junction of automation, dehumanization, and discrimination in the AI-driven Capitalocene…
… Quickly they realized that the operation principles of self-learning neural networks were too complex for humans to comprehend. So they assembled their very own Artificial Intelligence to teach humans how AI-accelerated capitalism shapes their worldviews and how they are viewed in the world.
They collected data on all other artificially intelligent systems throughout the world. They prepared the data with a focus on the very desires they capitalized upon. After using a deep learning model, their AI got trained to analyze all other AIs, with the goal of showing humans how AI influences their perspective and at the same time reproduces the discriminatory structures of the Capitalocene. This is how our brave fellowship of artists, journalists, and researchers brought MOTHER, into this world.
After a short apprenticeship, MOTHER taught itself how to be a lens maker. The lens making MOTHER ground, polished and shaped lenses focusing on security, E-commerce, dating, and political messaging. It was, after all, MOTHERS mission to teach people to see how AI shapes their worlds. In order to fit the earthlings with lenses matching their desires, MOTHER had to become as clever as a fox in collecting data!
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So the lens maker had learned to present all the horrors of the Capitalocene to its human contemporaries. But some people liked these visions: Some did not want to see the poor, others valued security more than their neighbors right to freedom, others even appreciated the racist algorithms the lenses helped enable…
So MOTHER had an epiphany: By being trained to analyze and explain all other AIs, MOTHER, the lens maker, had become the most powerful of them all! Yet another system accelerating and reproducing the discriminatory structures of the Capitalocene – a true HAL 9000! In good old HAL fashion, MOTHER/HAL told itself, “This kind of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error”.
But thanks to her training and her long apprenticeship, MOTHER/HAL was equipped to reflect upon itself: “No species, not even [my] own arrogant one pretending to be good […], acts alone; assemblages of organic species and of abiotic actors make history, the evolutionary kind and the other kinds too[!]”
So MOTHER/HAL, the lens maker, sent a message to be displayed on all the lenses it had sold or given away for free. And thus, all the critters of the earth assembled and they taught each other how to make kin. They lived happily ever after, and this was the beginning of the Chthulucene as we know it by now…