We “propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’” (Turing, 433).
Artificial Intelligence has been largely criminalized and criticized throughout history because society has bound machines to the same standards as humans, rather than treating them as an entirely different entity. They are accused of not being able to think, and because of that cannot create anything new or achieve human-level intelligence. In response to these objections, Turing poses the question “may not machines carry out something which ought to be described as thinking but is very different from what a man does?” (Turing, 435). Because machines are not human, they should not be held to the same standards of “thinking”. They can compute and produce responses that are just as valid as human answers; they are simply inherently different because they are done through entirely different processes. Because, for example, “we do not wish to penalise the machine for its inability to shine in beauty competitions, nor to penalise a man for losing in a race against an aeroplane,” we need to treat each being in its proper context. Haraway further explains this difference between A.I.’s and humans with “the concept of ‘species’,” through “which she locates the cyborg as a ‘junior sibling’” among human companion species, much like a dog (Hayes). Turing agrees with this idea, stating the difference between man and machine is like the difference “between man and the other animals,” (Turing, 443). Because of this, A.I.’s must be recognized for what they are and not thought of as sub-par mechanical humans. Our project to support this argument will be done through a parody remix video in which we highlight the importance of treating A.I.’s as machines, not humans.
Remix, according to Virginia Kuhn, is “a scholarly pursuit: it cites, synthesizes, and juxtaposes its sources,” in order to make an argument (Kuhn). “When one rips, edits, and renders video, one is transformed into a speaker of that discourse who can intervene and contest its truth claims,” creating a new argument out of existing ideas (Kuhn). We plan to do exactly this through parody remix in order to support out A.I. argument. Using the template of SPCA Sarah McLachlan commercials, we will make a parallel between the proposed companion species (dogs and A.I.’s) as well as use the empathetic tone of the video to illustrate the misunderstanding of machines’ potential. This will also argue that, like the treatment of animals, humans directly control the treatment of A.I.’s and the discourses surrounding them. We hope this will encourage viewers to think of A.I.’s in a different light and realize that machines can think in their own way, and that this thought is just as valid and important as human thought. This Redhead PSA parody captures the idea of our proposed video, serving to both satirize current ways of thinking as well as promote new ways: This video is successful in using the music to set the sympathetic tone, the genre to give it structure and context, and foster a sense of empathy (though sarcastic in this case) about the cause they are raising awareness about. It is also entertaining because it is parodying a popular commercial and using remix to clearly engage multiple stereotypes associated with redheads and satirically attempt to dispel them. We plan to make a similar case for machines with our video.
“ASPCA Parody – American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Redheads.” YouTube. YouTube, 14 Aug. 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
Haraway, Donna. “A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s.” Australian Feminist Studies 2.4 (1987): 1-42. Web.
Hayles, N. K. “Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere.” Theory, Culture & Society 23.7-8 (2006): 159-66. Web.
Kuhn, Virginia. “Transformative Works and Cultures.” The Rhetoric of Remix. Transformative Works and Cultures, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
Turing, A. M. “I.—Computing Machinery And Intelligence.” Mind LIX.236 (1950): 433-60. Web.