Robopoieses : the artificial intelligences of nature

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Robopoïèses: les intelligences artificielles de la nature André Ourednik, 2021, Robopoieses : the artificial intelligences of nature, La Baconnière, Genève.

This essay questions the confinement of the field of artificial intelligence to decision-making. First by considering the fundamental artificiality of any form of collective thought, starting with language itself. Further by reflecting on how speech and other artificial constructs mediate our relationship to the unspeakable and the elusive, in other words: our relationship to nature.

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Listen to the sound performance "Roboraisons Robopoïèses"

Critiques and comments

“Navigating between human sciences and computer science, André Ourednik reminds us of the true essence of learning machines. His book "Robopoiesis" is ideal to curb the fantasies about the all-powerful A. I. ... A text that is argued, precise, but also judiciously critical on the development of artificial intelligence and their impact on the organization of our contemporary societies”. Fabrice Gottraux, L’intelligence artificielle ne nous veut aucun mal. L’humain, en revanche…, 24 Heures / Tribune de Genève, 12.6.2021

“Erudite and mischievous, historical and speculative, technical and poetic, this is undoubtedly one of the most stimulating books of the moment on the realities and fantasies of artificial intelligence...” Hugues, Charybde 27 : le Blog, 1.1.2021

“...this invigorating and accessible essay... ...develops the idea that mankind has already started a long time ago to externalize its thought processes. Aren't language and mathematics already totally artificial creations? By questioning our relationship with nature and artifice, he opens up some fascinating avenues of philosophical reflection, and goes through history in search of abacus, ancient mechanisms, automata and other independent systems capable of self-regulation, which have constituted so many steps towards artificial intelligence as it is understood today. It leads to contemporary issues of democratic control of algorithms and the presuppositions that form the worldview of machines. A fascinating book, which also exposes the stakes linked to the influence of large technological groups on society and why the absence of rules in the field of artificial intelligence is a danger that is still too little understood.” Stéphane Babey, Vigousse, 14.5.2021

“André Ourednik is not only one of the rare authors in French-speaking Switzerland to write highly documented dystopias, he is also a scientist capable of describing a fractal of plant evolution. In his latest essay, as an Aristotelian mixed with a digital engineer, he poetizes a process without end since the monstrous development of the human brain: artificial intelligence, i.e. capable of artifacts, of artistic combinations. A beautiful journey extended by an online sound creation.” CC, QWERTZ, #64, RTS-Culture, April 3rd 2021.

“Between the poet and the machine, there is André Ourednik... the writer never stops rethinking the world in the light of the digital, of its omniscience which reconfigures our relationship to reality and memory... It is another history of artificial intelligence that he unfolds here, whose cradle would not be located in the valley of silicon but in the primitive times of the appearance of language. By considering AI in a more encompassing perspective, that of "thinking devices" that cannot be reduced to printed circuits, the author moves from ancient Mesopotamia to Conway's Game of Life, from the golden ratio to Vedic meganumbers, from magic formulas on turtle shells to artistic algorithms. Erudite, literary, philosophical, mathematical and computer marquetry, where the prospect of an autonomous AI creative enough to reconcile us with nature takes shape. Dense and stimulating.” Thierry Raboud, La Liberté, March 20th 2021.

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