Re the EEG, here is a synopsis of one of the projects I am developing:
A human actor evokes (i.e. draws out) an imaginary entity and projects
it into a defined space (such as the Triangle of Art in Solomonic
evocation). The actor wears an EPOC headset that, having been
previously trained, recognizes her intention to project the entity,
and signals the activation of a robot occupying the same space. The
overall effect is of having magically evoked the spirit into the robot
The intention is not to trick an audience into believing that the
human actor has conjured a spirit into a robot, but to establish a
special relationship between the human and robot actors through
simulating a metaphysical event. Also to cast light on how we may
blend ordinary/trivial experiences (such as activating machines) with
extraordinary/non-trivial ones (such as conjuring spirits), and to
cast doubt on the separation of mind/body/spirit while performing a
ritual that inherits largely from vitalism.
Like a simulation, it is grounded in _doing_ rather than _being_. In
magic, there is often attention to the essence of something; a thing
is or is not sacred or weird, etc., and in so being, it may
extraordinarily influence events or other things. But how do we
simulate what is sacred, other than by changing the behavior of that
which interacts with it? Intersecting magic and technology, I have had
to ask (with a nod to Warren McCulloch): What is magic that a person
may _do_ it (and a person, that she may do magic)?
Re artificial intuition, Monica Anderson
(http://artificial-intuition.com/) has developed a model of it or
short-term predictions based on past experiences. Her algorithm is
proprietary and I do not have access to it, but her documentation
indicates that it is necessarily il-logical, in which case a computer
operating with such intuition would not be able to say how it inferred
a conclusion, because no (logical) inference would have been involved
in the development of its conclusion. I wonder how her algorithm
compares to plausible reasoning. Re your mention of qualia, I suspect
that the intuitions of two machines having different histories, would
be different, even if their conclusions were the same pertaining to
the same event.
On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a)
> Dear Joshua,
> Thanks very much for your thoughts!
> "We can use EEG to intentionally activate an actuator that moves a body at a
> distance, and so experience some sense of telekinesis that may seem supernatural
> if we are unaware of the underlying mechanisms, if we do not have a "natural"
> model of what is happening --we may generate/experience a supernatural model.I
> am presently developing this technology to simulate the evocation of a spirit
> into an artificial body (robot)."
> please say more about this!
> Joshua, you also wrote:
> "This I suppose relates to your comment about humans sensing each other in a
> room, e.g., you may have a "feeling" about someone which (by this model) means
> you are processing information about that person, below your conscious
> threshold. The difference between that and how computers communicate at a
> distance is that computers do not yet have a conscious threshold in this sense;
> the computer does not have a (self-)reflective gaze and cannot (genuinely) say,
> "I feel something is good/bad about this situation, although I cannot say [i.e.
> infer from available data] why I feel this way."
> Indeed, intution has been said to be proven as something that can be trained
> (and trained wrongly). Sadly I remember this only from a science TV programme
> and have to reference at hand. But perhaps we are not that far off of simulating
> intuition (in human robotic relations) as we might think? As new technologies
> are being developed. Sensing the other persons emotion comes from face
> recognition of emotions, muscle tensions, right? TU delft Robotics department
> is currently working on natural tracking, meaning no black and white markers
> needed anymore. Perhaps soon with facerecognition technology, it will not be so
> hard. From there, something like 'common sense' ;-) (a very important sense?)
> might take place. Calculating if a person shows 'angry muscles', holding a knife
> high with raised pulse...might a robot not think: % 'bad'? A random percentage
> based on data, simulating common sense, simulating a sense of empathy? In a way
> it does not matter how much % is chosen, as one will 'learn' after that again to
> make a new %, thus determining the 'character' of the robot. Results that end
> often in the negative (below 50%) or in the positive (above 50%).
> For instance robot makes a random guess: Bad = 75% > 'ask are you ok?'. I mean ,
> is that not a question we ask, because we are taught to ask it? Do we need
> consciousness for that? In that sense the '%' itself might be a form of robotic
> qualia? Ergo, how do we know if one robots calculation to 75% is the same as
> another robot's calculation that ends in 75%? And is the calculation itself a
> form of 'sense experience' (for the Robots)?
> I might be trailing too far here, but I'm interested in how thinking in % and
> adding a form of duality (%hot, %cold, good bad) could simulate our senses and
> PS Your comments reminded me of the magic balls that can guess your thoughts,
> perhaps I might integrate that low technique in an artistic narrative in a way
> that involves the wearer of the digital 'LSD'...hmm.
> That magic trick the computer does is the first and only one I actually know
> how to do, learned it when I was about 9...its about the maths...:)
> Real nice of you to bring magic into the discussion in general. I actually
> thought about magic for my project before in a different context, I wanted a
> magician as a consultant, but more to talk to about how to divert attention to
> compensate with slow rendering of video processing...
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