Human parts attached

On the deep-learning image recognition algorithm Deep Dream:

“Google researchers noted that when its algorithm generated images of a dumbbell, it also generated a human arm holding it. The machine had concluded that an arm was part of the thing.

–Will Knight, “The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI,” MIT Technology Review, April 11, 2017

This comment was embedded in a discussion of AIs and their conceptions of things, but broadening that thought—

I would think that a book should also have a human arm holding it as part ‘of the thing.’ Actually probably many things serve well with a human body part attached. A soccer ball with a foot attached. A mascara stick with eyelashes attached. Mochi with mouth and teeth attached, etc.

The symbiotic relationship between humans and things–that things need humans just as human need things (to be the thing it is, to assert and (re)confirm its identity). Or humans are a part of things, just as things are a part of humans. Perhaps the opposite of a cyborg, a biological attachment/element to artifacts that are in and of itself part of the artifacts.

Just imagine what our emojis would look like!

Maybe stories would have a mind floating above it.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill

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