Luciana Parisi: Digital Automation and Affect
Digital Automation and Affect
(S. 161 – 177)

Intensive thought, randomness, dynamism

Luciana Parisi

Digital Automation and Affect

PDF, 17 Seiten

Clockwork automata, but also motor automata, in short, automata of movement, made way for a new computer and cybernetic race, automata of computation and thought, automata with control and feedback. The configuration of power was also inverted, […] power was diluted in an information network.1

As depicted in the movie Elysium, in the near-future scenario of 2124, data will not simply be processed by machines or by brains but rather exchanged across brains by means of machines.2 Elysium is a self-sustainable, pollution-free space habitat that lives off the underclass work of a derelict planet earth, overpopulated and deranged, with a dying human species. In this scenario, machines cannot think and rather seem to be simply instrumental to human-oriented intentions (exposing a traditional moral puzzle of the battle of good versus evil, which is ultimately ascribed to voluntary decisions). Whilst appearing to be mere channels of governance, machines constitute the computational infrastructure of Elysium, whose operations are precisely neutral: unable to understand the cause of things and thus devoid of will (since the AI probe parole officer cannot interpret Max’s allusive comments and jokes, it says to him: “Do you want to speak to a human?”). The neutrality of this algorithmic architecture, however, also reveals the effective power of instrumental reason. Here machines do not simply rebel against the human (as in the I Robot movie for instance), but they more importantly process (i.e., select, exchange, store, activate) any form of information that can be destructive and creative, beneficial or detrimental to the human race. This form of neutralized automation, whereby robots do exactly what humans tell them to do, comfortably reveals a sort of unilateralization of thought, an asymmetry in power between human and machines through which instrumental reason is realized. It is only the rebooting of the information matrix, requiring a radical change in the initial conditions of its algorithmic inputs, that the entire techno-organic elite of Elysium can be eliminated. And yet it is precisely the emphasis on the ultimate possibility to change the initial conditions of the automated architecture of Elysium that exposes instrumental reason to an interesting equivalence of thought and automation, revealing that algorithmic processing, in spite of much critique, is open to revision.

Instead of reducing this near-future possibility to the mere fantasy of a Promethean thought free from finitude and death, I suggest...

  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Körper
  • Automatisches Leben
  • Wahrnehmung
  • Zeitlichkeit
  • Epistemologie
  • Alfred North Whitehead
  • Automation
  • Affekte
  • Wissen

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Luciana Parisi

ist Außerordentliche Professorin für Kulturtheorie an der Goldsmiths University in London und leitet dort das PhD-Programm für Kulturwissenschaften sowie – als Kodirektorin – die Digital Culture Unit. In ihrem philosophisch geprägten Werk untersucht sie Technologie in der Kultur, Ästhetik und Politik und hat Beiträge auf dem Gebiet der Medienphilosophie und des Computational Design veröffentlicht. Parisi ist Autorin von Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (2004, Continuum Press) und Contagious Architecture. Computation, Aesthetics and Space (2013, MIT Press). Derzeit erforscht sie die Geschichte des automatisierten Denkens und schreibt über den Ursprung der Maschinenphilosophie in der Moderne.
Weitere Texte von Luciana Parisi bei DIAPHANES
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