In the reading this week, we covered a really interesting topic of Artificial life. Artificial life can be talked about in many different ways; however, in our reading, it is a field that studies life. It attempts to create replicas of life forms in other physical media objects in order to create helpful recourses. This is a new way of studying life using mathematics and algorithms. Artificial life is also a new way to bring “life form” into the art world and out of the biology field. Without mathematics, we wouldn’t have technology and science. Wilson states in his book that mathematics is similar to pursuing ideas that compare to art.
Some believe that “pure” mathematics is somewhat akin to art—practitioners pursue inquiries often just because they are interesting rather than for specific utilitarian goals. Also, mathematicians, like artists, have the opportunity to dream up arbitrary worlds with their own internally consistent rules unfettered by connections with the conventional world.
In the reading, one of the artists, Ken Rinaldo, created an installation of an artificial, robotic tongue chair. The piece is called, Enteric Consiousness, which is a large robotic tongue controlled by an artificial stomach filled with living bacteria, Lactobacillus Acidophulus.
The artificial stomach in this installation controls and activates the robotic tongue. If the bacteria within the stomach is healthy and reproducing, then robotic tongue-chair senses the presence of the viewer/interactant reclines and delivers a deluxe 15 minute massage. When the interactant leaves the chair the robot tongue returns to an upright position.
Artificial life has created an opportunity to increase human operational efficiency. For example, it can replace jobs that are repetitive or harmful. In the future robots will be used more commonly, which is scary because the robot could be smarter than a human. After reading about artificial life, I wonder if artificial life is considered a form of life? Technology could take over our earth and all the wildlife. So, if the wildlife is gone, we could create artificial life with digital wildlife. Rinaldo did a project of this also, called Cyber Squeaks. The installations are objects that will react to humans emotions. They will squeak their first words in their own language.
The call to the artistic, scientific, media based community, should be to immediately turn to development and implementation of worldwide distributed fiber optic networks that simultaneously receive and send information with force feedback suits and advanced virtual environments, permitting the fusing of computer based networks and human minds into a distributed emergent consciousness.