Humans in the age of the intelligent machine

The question is how can we maintain out emancipated status in the transition into the post-human era?

First dive deep into the technical phenomena of machines that penetrate society, analyse the social interactions/relations it transforms rather than hastening to seek moral justification for its ends. First comes the means, they should speak for themselves.

The idea that capitalism with its expanding power of generating material products (efficiency machines), advertising for them, combined with the growing ability of such products to operate autonomously is a force to be reckoned with. The invention of the remote control can be seen as a proto-stage in the evolution of autonomous hardware that takes control over wetware. First there is the separation of telemetry/actuator from the wetware after which the wetware is replaced with software leaving the wetware as the environment for the newly created intelligent machine to “sift” through. In many examples their purpose or intent is already directed towards us, our attention should be directed towards this evolution. It is simply a matter of retaining our emancipation.

Todo: explain “sift” through with the cops-software from “Weapons of Math destruction”

Todo : find more examples where parts of tech first get split up, then replaced by machines. Eg. Surveillance (As
Larry James, Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance, explains, “When it comes to
collecting and analyzing data, sports broadcasters are far ahead
of the military.”)

There is a next step in gathering of consumer behavioral data that is emerging: the sometimes unknown observing of people behavioural patterns. Apart from the willful cooperation of consumers to leave traces of their lives with big marketing centric corporations, these same corporations will in the future develop and use technology to actively observe their users/customers. Already existing solutions are satellite surveillance of square miles of land, mostly parking spaces to predict sales figures of adjacent supermarkets. Soon other IT-corporations will lure their users into believing that their surveillance is meant only to enhance and remove friction from using their platform.

Explain the machinic phylum by summarizing

The next big thing will be a lot of small things.

(on how the singularity will happen) The fact that progress today craps out all these machinic body parts/organs for an intelligent agent to pick up, combine and transform. The analogy with biological evolution cannot be overstated: whereas the wetware has to engage in millions of years of evolution (interaction with its environment) the machinic phylum can authoritatively decide its future by picking up these organs and evolve in a matter of years.

One must see the mode of operation here. It is the network like germination and combining of traits in technology. The ever evolving way of splitting up human activity and replacing it with machines after which the machines traits are cross pollinated and recombined to infiltrate other human functions. Thus the human body will likely absolve into its environment of automated machinic eco-systems within the next 20 years. The combinatorial production of the machines will at one point take over all things touching our lifes and defining our social constructs at which point we will become insignificant or will be forced to adopt a hybrid strategy of merging our carbon with the machinic substrate.

Whereas De Landa described the machinic phylum from the historic perspective of the machines, it might be equally interesting to describe their change in historic intentionality towards us humans and what human intentional traits can get cannibalized by the machinic phylum. Which traits get split up and recombined by the machines themselves. After all the technology always has a subject. It performs actions toward a subject. Or maybe a phenomenology of the machine. How will the machine experience us humans? After all they are made by us with certain intent. It is an uncharted philosophical empire that must be mapped before the singularity occurs. It is because the traits that machines inherit from us and their inherent fragmentation (bracketing) of those traits that we must be vigilant. This bracketing of concepts coincides with the faulty intentions that might get programmed into intelligent machines. Describing the intent of (for now) simple machines might help us understand and manipulate better our environment thus giving us a chance of survival when these machines are combining themselves in rapid succession in the coming singularity. So I propose to catalogue the technological traits, their evolution and their phenomenological implications towards us from their perspective always asking which discourse are they bracketing, what is it that they are not seeing.

Other ideas to pursue:

  •  Cops (wetware actuator) as an extension of an optimising algorithm, patrolling neighbourhoods more efficiently thereby creating nuisance for targeted demographics. It is often the case that the machinic phylum first forms an assemblage with wetware because certain traits can’t be yet be outsourced to the machine. Together they direct their intentions to other wetware.
  • UAV Drones (remote) as the proto-stage directed to “sift” through terrorist activity


Perspectives and intentions

A phenomenological case-study from ‘A theory of the drone’:

In this model the enemy individual is no longer seen as a link in a hierarchical chain of command: he is a knot or “node” inserted into a number of social networks. Based on the concepts of “network-centric warfare” and “effects-based operations,” the idea is that by successfully targeting its key nodes, an enemy network can be disorganized to the point of being practically wiped out. The masterminds of this methodology declare that “targeting a single key node in a battlefield system has second, third, n-order effects, and that these effects can be accurately calculated to ensure maximum success”.

Perspective: The drone and its operator sees us (wetware agents) as a network that must get untangled and chopped up. Facebook in reverse so to speak.

At this point, it is a matter no longer of surveillance and punishment but of
surveillance and annihilation.

Perspective: The surveilling electronic eye renders us into activity, devoid of identity shaping privacy + the Hellfire rocket has the same intentionality as the executioner in the Middle Ages. The machine views our activities as an alternative to what we call identity. In this case privacy has no meaning for the machine, whereas for us it defines and constitutes us. In other words: the machinic phylum brackets certain concepts as it encounters us.

The body of the prey is the battlefield.

Perspective: Drone technology has the intention to render the battlefield onto our bodies. The term “precision” defines how far around us this battlefield lies.

=> now what does it mean for matter to develop  intentionality:

Deacon coins the term ‘teleodynamics’ to refer to constrained dynamics that produce ententional phenomena. His solution to the problem of what constitutes the minimal teleodynamic system is the ‘autogen’: molecular autocatalysis coupled (juxtaposed) to molecular self-assembly. Autocatalysis occurs via cyclic configurations of orthograde reactions, that is, when the products of a thermodynamically favored reaction are reactants of subsequent reactions that then produce reactants for the first. Autocatalysis fuels growth, but is constrained by diffusion, as it requires that the reactants be in close proximity. Self-assembly occurs via orthograde (thermodynamically favored) aggregation of molecules into metastable structures. Self-assembly also fuels growth, but is constrained by the availability of molecular components. Autogenesis is what happens when autocatalysis produces the components for self-assembly, which in turn produces a container that limits diffusion, thereby favoring autocatalysis. Such a configuration allows the constraints that impede continuance of each process (autocatalysis and self-assembly) to be overcome by the other process—each completes the other. It is teleodynamic because the configuration establishes constraints that entail a ‘goal’—its own continuation—under uncertain circumstances: conditions favoring growth afford for reproduction via autocatalysis, whereas growth-limiting conditions do not bring about its demise owing to the long-term stability of the self-assembled structures.

Can the automated drone camera that analyses activity and fires Hellfire rockets be called a teleodestructive process?