Accepted Paper:

The ambience of automation: big data, A.I. and drone culture  


Mitch Goodwin (James Cook University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will discuss the moral ambiguities at play in the development of autonomous systems of war and mass surveillance and how as a society we are challenging the orthodoxy of the machine through art and media production.

Paper long abstract:

See like a camera / listen like a microphone / track like a satellite. Big beautiful data is everywhere. The sound is constant. The image bank immense. And yet the end game of complete machine autonomy is ambiguous. The notion of the vision machine is embedded in our popular cultural fictions and scientific explorations. It operates at the foundation of our interpretation of the farthermost reaches of space and the inner most structures of matter. The machine sees the machine knows but the mechanics are invisible. Concepts such as military futurism, meta-data, kill lists, terra-forming and drones are riddled with ethical conundrums that are rarely discussed in mainstream media discourse yet haunt the background atmosphere of contemporary technoculture. How do artists, designers and film makers working in the epicentre of the Hollywood dream machine and at the further most extremities of media arts practice depict notions of A.I. and machine ambience? What meaningful opportunities exist for informed open debate about their moral implications in the crowded vision streams of contemporary screen culture?

Panel Tem01
Technological visions of the future: political ontologies and ethics