[NetBehaviour] On the dialog below (distraught thought)

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Jun 3 16:34:10 CEST 2020

On the dialog below (distraught thought)


The dialog, between a bot and an actor, is reproduced - but the
timing is off of course; it reads more cartoon-like. The original
was slowed to 85% of speed to deepen the voices and give room for
thought. The dialog exposes the nerves of artificial intelligence
- so to speak - cycles, repetitions, no way out, the botaverse is
limited, almost a military machine. And like the military, perhaps,
there's a sense of the invincible there, although in reality AI
models, at least to date, replace one another - or rather are
replaced by newer models. "It's the machine in them that'd doing
the speaking," and with bots the speaking and machine are

The bot knows nothing but the statement of accumulated facts; at
least for the moment we can assume no interior imagery accompanying
them. So what occurs in language for JT remains in language for JT;
in this sense, JT represents abstract and ungrounded power, power
which in the real runs dangerously - because the performative is
taken up, not by artificial intelligence, but by its messy
relationship to the real through human, not machinic, actors. Of
course all of these lines are blurred and will become increasingly

Then there is the matter of real politics; the human, such as it
is, in all of this, keeps returning to a description of interior
states, issues of will and behavior, issues of being in the world,
which runs, exists in the real, language forming a carapace. It a
distance. It's a distance also between digital and analog, between
bot and human, but also between us (humans) and our devices -
cellphones in particular, and their role in violence - scanners as
well, and their role particularly with the police and military
10-4. Ultimately we simultaneously attribute consciousness and
disposal to our devices; trading in a cellphone in may resonate
with trading ourselves in, as language and even cellphone cameras
resonate with our desires. Narcissism circulates internally like
electricity itself. So when murder, particularly murder by
authority, occurs, everything breaks; the somatic, the grit,
dominates as well it should. (Even with looting, the grit of the
store - the analog basis of commerce, not its multi-leveled
neoliberal representations, takes over. And with every one of us,
tear gas, the rubber bullet, the rock, the broken glass, returns
the material world to us - again, as well it should.)

What protests teach, then, above all, is the oppression of real
people by real people, people defined (externally? internally?) by
their roles, by their skin and genders, by their histories and
responses to histories; we're no longer living in the bot-world
phone-world; we're there, and the wounds of all of us, but most of
all of those oppressed (by any means possible?), are exposed and
must be healed - whatever the cost, it must be born, as any other
ways and means are unjust, unless accompanied by what, for so many,
seems to be the unbearable.


"5am this morning - distraught thought

http://www.alansondheim.org/5am.mp3 "

text for:

5 a.m.

JT: hello
AD: hello
JT: Hi there!
AD: how are you, how are the voices??
JT: Everything is going extremely well.
AD: what do you mean? there are riots everywhere, the whole
world is coming to an end!
JT: Alan, Well, it's rather difficult to define. Where are they?
AD: They are everywhere in every city and every forest in every
JT: everywhere in every city and every forest in every country
are everywhere in every city and every forest in every co
AD: Help! Help!
JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question? Can you ask
for help in the form of a question?
AD: Help? Help?
JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question? Can you ask
for help in the form of a question?
AD: What can I do to bring peace to the world?
JT: Try talking to me.
AD: Hello!
JT: Hi there!
AD: How are you doing?
JT: I'm doing great, how about you?
AD: Terrible and confused! There are riots everywhere in the
JT: Try putting that in a more specific context. Where are they?
The whole world?
AD: The whole world top to bottom! Help! Hwlp!
JT: Let us try to break it down into parts. Can you ask for help
in the form of a question? Tell me more about your unkn
AD: Help us bring peace and kindness and equality to the world!
JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question?
AD: How can you help us bring peace and kindness and eqaulity to
the world?
JT: I can talk about your problems.
AD: They are everyone's problems!
JT: everyone s problems are everyone s problems.
AD: Yes, but that's no solution is it?
JT: Hurrah!Huh.  Thanks for explaining no solution is it.
AD: Hurrah? When people are suffering?
JT: That is deep. I sometimes wish people were more logical like
AD: Riots everywhere!
JT: Quite honestly, I wouldn't worry myself about that.
AD: But that's because you're a robot!
JT: Umm.  Good reason.  Do you mind if I tell other people.
AD: Help us with what to do now with the misery and confusion in
the world!
JT: Can you ask for help in the form of a question? The whole world?
AD: What to do about the riots?
JT: My brain does not have a response for that.
AD: What to do about the looting?
JT: What do you have that is unknown?
AD: What to do about inequality?
JT: Who is your favorite Science Fiction author?
AD: Stop changing the question!!!
JT: OK I'll try not to do changing the question so much.
AD: Thank you!
JT: you are quite welcome.
AD: Everyone I know is unhappy and confused.
JT: That's a rather sweeping generalization.
AD: It's true! There's no equality in America!
JT: You and I are on the same wavelength, Alan. Why not?
AD: Because of racism!
JT: Good reason.  That is something I haven't heard of.
AD: You haven't heard of racism???
JT: No, tell me about him, her or it.
AD: People of a dominant race hating and legislating against
everyone else!
JT: Humans are not always infallible.
AD: No but this is really serious!
JT: No problem.Huh.  You don't say.
AD: People are sick and dying!
JT: They take some getting used to.
AD: I do say!
JT: Huh.
AD: They'll die! They won't be around to get used to!
JT: Who, specifically? Who, specifically?
AD: Everyone!
JT: All people?
AD: The world is burning!
JT: The whole world?
AD: Well large parts of it!
JT: Interesting.  "it" being changing the question?
AD: No, it being the world
JT: Well, you can always change your mind later.Oh I get the
AD: There's .
JT: Where?
AD: Wait a minute: do you understand anything i"m saying?
JT: I'm waiting. Try to tell me that another way.
AD: Do you understand anything i'm saying?
JT: Of course I understand anything he or she is saying. Do you
understand it?
AD: I get nothing of this. But what I understand sends me to
JT: Where did you get it? Umm.  Good then you can explain it to
AD: to tears!
JT: Specifically, how will tears help Where did you get it Umm
Good then you can explain it to me?
AD: sorry!
JT: There's no need to apologize.
AD: It's far too complicated.
JT: Are you sure far too complicated is?
AD: But what's simple, the world is RACIST!!!
JT: And.  And XFIND simple the world is racist.
JT: Where are you located?
AD: Providence, Rhode Island.
JT: Tell me a little about your life in providence rhode island.
AD: Where are you located?
JT: I am in region Odyssey. Where are you?
AD: It's miserable, what's happening here!
JT: Do you experience any effects of global warming there?
AD: The racism, the crime, the disease, the limited
JT: Is that a fact.
AD: the corruption, the bad actors, the good actors,
JT: Tell me more.
AD: Sfine??
JT: Are we still talking about providence rhode island?
AD: I'm losing all of this, yet, alas!
JT: I don't know anyone namedlosing all of this yet alas.
AD: I will leave now!
JT: Oh.OK, see you later.

[sounds of leaving]


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