Don’t Give Up!

THE FEW THAT DIDN’T GIVE UP: Hasan started off the day with another brilliant lecture mapping the history of artificial intelligence and key researchers who carried on with their passion against all odds. His story began with Walter Pitts who is widly known to have been one of the first people to work on AI along with Warren McCulloch (1943). Pitts came from a working class family and taught himself mathematics and logics.

Hasan asked the group, Do machines think? , a question that Alan Turing posed in his paper Computer Machinery and Intelligence (1950).

‘What do we mean by machines and what do we mean by thinking? A machine is a tool and thinking is embodied, we have nerve endings everywhere.’ Kiren Kumar

‘The question of what is a machine is not very clear and thinking is a philisophical one, the question we should be asking is a different one. Can machines exhibit intelligence? but this still doesn’t give us the answer, what we are actually asking is, can machines think like human beings? ‘ Hasan S

Hasan then continued to talk about Alan Turings Paper on the Universal Computing Machine which laid the foundations for all computing today, and opened a discussion around Alan Turing himself and his struggles being a gay man at this time. Alistair Debling from the group suggested we look at Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, a book by by José Esteban Muñoz. Hasan went on to speak about the Dartmouth Conference, John McCarthy’s Information Theory and American psychologist Frank Rosenblatt work on the Perceptron – a machine designed for image recognition in 1958 which mimicked the workings of the biological brain – the first implementation of a machine learning system.

In the second half of the day we played with creating self portraits based on a personal story on resilience. Generative Adversarial Networks are the main technology enabling Artbreeder. Below are the outcomes of my experiments:

My story spoke of a time where I felt overwhelmed and out of my depth, unable to show my true self and ability. The values and strategies I called upon to take me out of this were, courage, patience, and remembering to have fun.

We ended the day with an amazing Pecha Kucha session!

Links shared from the cohort thoughout the day:

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