Stefan Bohacek on AI and Pareidolia (SCP Mini)

This week, Benjamin brought out an SCP Mini based around his interview with Stefan Bohacek. As the founder of BotWiki, he’s someone with an impressive knowledge on the nature of artificial intelligence. In this video, he highlights an interesting phenomenon. Pareidolia is the force in our minds which makes us see faces in toast, or on the surface of Mars. When applied to interactionย with bots, it can have a profound impact on our perspectives. Despite knowing that an AI is a construct, with clear limits to its capability, we can easily project humanity onto them regardless.

However, the uncanny valley always snaps us out of it eventually. We’re nowhere near creating a bot that even comes close to matching an organic brain, but our organic brains can be fooled by the mere appearance of intelligence. Does this mean that we’re rolling ever forward to scarier, and more dangerous, territory? Is it evidence that, one day, bots can be more than experimentation? On the other hand, it might suggest that we’ll never reach the replicant heights ofย Blade Runner; that we have nothing to fear from these intriguing technological dolls. At this point, philosophy is almost all we have on the subject.

When Neural Networks Create Art

Benjamin also posted another SCP Mini this week. Fortunately, it ties in perfectly to the subject of Bohacek‘s. In this one, we take a look at some footage of neural networks attempting to create art from set parameters. This, in actuality, harks back to an article Benjamin wrote a while ago. As you watch the networks struggle to form their images, it’s hard to see it as a program simply following rules. We’ve set this one to a Boards of Canada soundtrack; specificallyย Kid for Today. The music of Boards of Canada has always had a synergy with imagery like this. With their output being as electronic as it is organic, that fact may say something itself about why it suits neural network art…

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