Lift12 Stories: James Bridle (Ship Adrift Project) [en]

[fr] Je suis à la conférence Lift12 à Genève ces jours. Voici mes notes de sessions.

Live-blogging from Lift12 conference in Geneva. These are my notes and interpretations of James Bridle’s session — best effort, but might be imprecise or even wrong!

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Gibson: artistic creation doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

Network realism: like when Gibson inserts silver flying penguins in his story, but they actually already exist in a video on YouTube, some company makes them, and in his story they’re flying about in the same building as in the video.

Code/Space. Check-in hall: if the code fails, the whole thing collapses into a big hall full of angry people.

Most of our cultural lives and literatures are spent in code/space. We outsource our memories and experiences to the network. Good, but intense consequences.

Caveat: space is a bad metaphor for the network/internet. There is no such thing as public space on the internet. steph-note: need to think about this, I always use the space metaphor.

Financial algorithms.

Two-thirds of wikipedia’s top editors (EN) are bots. SmackBot which locks down pages when there is too much frantic editing. Etc.

Wikipedia is a new paradigm in how we understand and coconstruct human knowledge. Big deal.

Artificial systems here have agency, motive, intention. We’re sharing the world and knowledge with them.

Comments where you don’t know if it’s a spambot or a human. steph-note: happens more and more to me, and it is unsettling.

Spambot comment, if you read it, something seems to be calling out to us in it. Feel like things that are desperately trying to speak to us! But they don’t know how, and we’re not trying to listen.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room. Ship in the middle of town. You can stay there. Lovely thing but a failed ship, it doesn’t go anywhere. James was asked to provide internetty stuff for the ship. Weather station on the roof. What would the ship do if it could fly, if it were adrift? Has been plotting it for a month — went straight to Poland.

The ship knows where it is virtually, and looks for stuff online related to where it is. Tweets, Foursquare, wikipedia entries. Creates a log of things it learns and tries to speak them up.

Strasseblickfernweh. Made-up view. Emotional response to seeing stuff through machines.

Polari, specific type of argot. Somebody on Twitter asking if @shipadrift is Nordic Polari. Ship started responding to personals. Was blocked! Ship can’t access anymore! sad.

James loves spambots, follows mostly spambots on Twitter. Likes the way they speak. If we keep killing spambots they’re never going to achieve sentience! It’s a shame, we live with these things.

steph-note: am going to look at spambots differently from now on

There are stories already in the world. Co-created. Need to be put in words. We need to be sympathetic to these things that share our world, speak to them, invite them into the world. They’re looking for consciousness.

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