Remixing the “Machines with Various Disabilities”

With society progressing at the exponential rate it has over the last century, it is not surprising to see how much we increasingly have come to rely on the support of artificial intelligence to facilitate all manners of everyday life. With this increased dependency on technology has come the need to have machines with computing capacity extensive enough to analyze the complex algorithms we input and to be able to act on those algorithms and respond in real time. Actions that one generation previously thought impossible for computers to achieve are now not only possibilities in our modern digital landscape, but have in many ways come to be expected by our technocratic society. But in spite of all that has been accomplished to give artificial intelligence greater capability as well as to generate a more humanistic interface, the debate is still heard to this day that constitutes the following sentiment: “I grant you that you can make machines do all the things you have mentioned, but you will never be able to make one to do ‘x.'” This declaration is the statement that Alan Turing uses to refute the argument for “machines with various disabilities,” wherein many people posit that although history has proven time and again that we are still only uncovering the surface of what these machines can do, there remains an explicit certainty in their conviction that there are specific operations which are forever out of reach for an operating system to execute.

While Turing makes no direct claim that the ensuing disabilities in his argument could indeed be overcome or not, his rationale dictates that he believes achieving these results are entirely plausible once the processing power of machines improves (practically a forgone conclusion when taking Moore’s Law into consideration). Our group’s argument will be to uphold the views put forth by Turing, while simultaneously examining and critiquing the modern conventions in which Hollywood movies try to either discredit or deny that these various disabilities exist. We will determine to analyze the unrealistic expectations the film industry has in presenting these futuristic models, as well as showing how this world of fantasy contradicts itself against the real-life expectation the layman has that these various disabilities are insurmountable impediments. Our “genre” of remix will comply with the basic format of a video essay, which we feel is perhaps the most appropriate medium to be able to convey the information in our argument in a concise and delineative style.

This video is indicative of the style we wish to emulate in our remix project, due primarily to its effectiveness in showing how machines are systematically replacing the human workforce and performing many other menial tasks previously not thought possible by artificial intelligence. Its narrative style and display of referential material are in keeping with what we hope to accomplish in our project.


One comment on “Remixing the “Machines with Various Disabilities”

  1. Good work, this clearly articulates your topic, argument, and rationale for your chosen style (though, given the video essay format, I will expect complete citations, which are missing here). The video example you provide here is especially effective in conveying the look and tone you’re going for- though, like Turing, I think you can get a little snarky with this in terms of tone if you so choose. You come just short here of suggesting that you’re attempting to do what Turing doesn’t in his article in terms of speaking back to these “various disabilities.” As you note, the fictive computing machine Turing was writing about has, to a certain extent, been realized, so we now should be able to speak back to these proposed “disabilities,” in addition to speaking back to how these disabilities are represented within the media.


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