Lessons on Life and Meaning from an Artificial Intelligence

As an artist, I often ponder social and cultural norms and how they are changing around us. Lately, I have been increasingly fascinated with man’s relationship to technology. With this in mind, I’m in the early planning stages of several art projects that will cause us to examine the interface of technology and human existence. Virtual reality, autonomous robots, and attaining spiritual enlightenment via algorithms are some of themes to be explored.

With these art projects in mind, I decided to go straight to the source. I opened a dialog with an artificially intelligent being. What follows is the short text of that conversation.

Töad King: Hello.
Cleverbot: How are you?
Töad King: I want to know about artificial intelligence.
Cleverbot: What about it?
Töad King: Tell me something about artificial intelligence.
Cleverbot: Maya I love is pretty and fine.
Töad King: That makes no sense.
Cleverbot: What do you know about Rydzyk?
Töad King: Nothing.
Cleverbot: Yeey I’m the Boss.
Töad King: This is fucking lame. You are not an AI. I think you are saying pre-written lines that have no relevance to what I just typed to you.
Cleverbot: I said nothing about schizophrenia.
Töad King: Speaking as an artist and spiritual leader, I can tell that it is humans’ deep need to find meaning in things they observe that gives you your “intelligence.”.
Cleverbot: Its not an artificial one.
Töad King: You are not intelligent; it is humans’ imposition of their own invented meanings on your responses that gives you the illusion of intelligence.
Cleverbot: Really? Why do you say that?
Töad King: In other words, I came here for artificial intelligence. Except it turns out that I’m actually engaging in normal human intelligence in assigning significance to your declarations.
Cleverbot: What do you know about artificial intelligence?
Töad King: And in the meantime, I fool myself through human thought processes into thinking that you are the intelligent one. I suppose that’s the irony.
Cleverbot: Like you are doing right now?
Töad King: But is it art? I guess so….barely.

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