I’ll be part of Conversations with Computers, a 2-day symposium organized by the net-culture initiative servus.at in cooperation with the University of Art and Design Linz. The symposium addresses contemporary artistic research in the field of AI, focusing on new languages that emerge between humans and machines, but also how work and communication are facilitated through technological means.
I will speak about “computers all the way down”: While computing finally has become ubiquitous, it has fragmented as well. Today, it appears in countless forms, pretending to be usable, tangible, intelligent, natural, and human. At the same time, user behavior is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from computation. Humans appear as software extensions, as appendages to machines. On the other hand, the stunning achievements of computation themselves often turn out to be forms of hidden human labor. If we assume that it is indeed “computers all the way down” it might be time to ask what a computer actually is – and to return to the roots of the term.