What is it like to be an algorithm

I need to preface this short story with a disclaimer. The origin of this work is that much has been said about GPT and machine learning. The consensus is that it’s obviously not intelligent or sentient (for a naïve definition) and that it’s mostly smokes and mirrors. And to a large extent, I agree, even though it still has merits (see our podcast episode on this ^^).

We will never know if an AI is conscious, not anymore than I can be certain that you are conscious. But I realized that we can pretty easily try to put ourselves in its shoes and see the world through its eyes.

This work is my attempt at providing you a way to do that. Like an algorithm, you will see only neutral symbols in text without any point of reference. My point is that you can derive meaning from the patterns, imagine, and even maybe understand “something” without any reference to the real world.

It turns out that it’s not that simple and most people I tried this on had to be strongly motivated (using emotional blackmail) to produce any kind of meaning from the text. But it’s not a complete failure, because they eventually did. Maybe feeling empathy with an algorithm takes a particular kind of person (children?), or a particular context (art museum?), or some drugs… This is in itself a very interesting question to answer. Still, I think it’s really cool to try, and interesting to see that it’s harder than I expected.

If you manage to get any kind of meaning/story out of this, please let me know in the comments below. The second part of this work is a collaborative interpretation work. If there is an aspect that is shared by everyone’s inferences of the patterns, it would be a very strong hint that an algorithm could equally infer this piece of semantics, whatever it may be, and I find this very exciting.

………………..

 

………………..

..ᚨᛃ……………

..ᚨᛃᛟ………….ᚨᛊᛟ.

..ᚨᛃᛟᛟ…..ᚨᛊᛟᛟ……..

..ᚨᛃᛟᛟᛟ.ᚨᛊᛟᛟᛟ…………

..ᚨᛃᛟᛟ…..ᚨᛊᛟᛟ……..

..ᚨᛃᛟ………….ᚨᛊᛟ.

..ᚨᛃ……………

………………..

 

.ᚨᛃᛟᛟ…….ᚢ…….ᚨᛊᛟᛟ.

….ᚨᛃᛟᛟ….ᚢ…….ᚨᛊᛟᛟ.

……ᚨᛃᛟᛟ.ᚢᛃᛟ…….ᚨᛊᛟᛟ.

..ᚨᛃᛟᛟ…..ᚢᛃᛟ…….ᚨᛊᛟᛟ.

………ᚢᛃᛟ…….ᚨᛊᛟᛟ.

………ᚢᛃᛟ….ᚨᛊᛟᛟ….

………ᚢᛃᛊᛟᛟ.ᚨᛊᛟᛟ……..

………ᚢᛃᛊᛟᛟ……ᚨᛊᛟᛟ..

………ᚢᛃᛊᛟᛟ………

………ᚢᛃᛊᛟᛟ………

………ᚢᛃᛊᛟ………

………ᚢᛃᛊ………

………ᚢᛃᛊ………

One thought on “What is it like to be an algorithm

  1. Pingback: Index – UltimateRealFiction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s