Last year at Recurse I trained a model on mala beads and rosary beads. I am sure the post is somewhere here. So there are a lot of problems with this, and with ML in general. In that these are ritual objects imbued with sacred meaning and I am stripping that away (their use value from their information value – this is a new concept introduced here folks – I just thought of it) and using the information. I am using it as pixels and a tag.
There are a ton of ethical questions. What is the proper way to interact with these objects. Do objects have ethics? What does this mean? Objects can have ethics related to their interaction with humans who definitely do have ethics. What makes a human subject to an ethical system – humans act -they are performative. Ethics is the study of oughts and acts. How we ought to act. That perhaps means that anything that can act is subject to an ethical system. So, obviously, technology, which is performative – like code. But also legal systems – like I now pronounce you man and wife – that is performative -I am referring to the line of though that comes from Searle and Speech Acts. Ritual objects do things for certain people. If I interact with a ritual object, what are my ethics?
How do you create an ethical machine learning system that works with ritual objects?
Moving on, I am working on my poetry project – the Tower, and yesterday I thought I should compile a list of towers and meditate on them: the tower of babel, Bollingen Tower, the leaning tower of piza, the twin towers, the freedom tower, you get the idea, the inverted tower in Annihilation. What is an underground tower? A tunnel?
I then thought, perhaps in anticipation of the ML event I was later to attend, that I should create some sort of machine learning algorithm to determine towers or to determine feature sets of towers (e.g., what are the salient features of towers). Maybe I could new towers, or perhaps co-create new towers along with my poem. I just need some free GPUs to train my model. Imagine creating new poems or chapbooks based on different conceptions of towers, or users could upload their own tower and perhaps alternate the feature set. This is an example from wiki data when I put in tower.
There was a fantastic tool created by the Met that situated an artwork within its various relations and included a network graph simulation that allowed you navigate the various connections. I want to use this to understand how all the towers I am looking at contribute to my poetic experience of what the tower means.
As I mentioned in other blog posts, fantasy (the unconscious) does things, language does things, computers do things. These all act, or in some cause action. This is a distinction. There is a difference between an impetus for action and an action itself (or is there? maybe not).