In the trailer for Lawrence Lek’s 2017 film Geomancer — played during a panel on “AI & Creativity” he was involved in at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam — a conversant, seemingly sentient AI asks viewers an unanswerable question. “Do you know what it is to see every wave, every bird, and every animal, a trillion shards of sunlight reflected on the water?” It encourages the viewer to consider a nonhuman perspective. But the real question at the center of the event was not whether AI could be conscious, or even conscientious, but whether it could be considered creative. Responses from the panel’s four speakers were varied, but they shared a common disinterest with the question itself, rejecting the presumption that human value judgements could be applied to something nonhuman. New ways of thinking are required with new technologies, rather than the blanket application of old criteria onto new paradigms.
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