Virtual Metaphysics III

Virtual Metaphysics vol. III

How about a bot that listens to music created by a bot? I don’t remember where I heard or read this sentence. I don’t even know if it’s true or false. All I know is that it has the power to redefine reality. Not the reality of war that we all think about. Not even the ethical questions we think about. What if AI not only creates music, texts, and images but also consumes them? What if one day AI produces a philosophy that is read and discussed by AI?

Hic sunt dracones

In his Metaphysics, Aristotle described the concept of the boundary as the ultimate, the last of something. Later, dragons were thought to be beyond the border. I don’t want to discuss now whether this has made it softer. Made it porous. Penetrated. Only much later did Derrida add the concept of difference. A border that is constantly shifting. The conquest of new territory. A concept of constant movement. Which perhaps brings us back to war. Where the war here is different from the one we think of. In which there may be something other than Dracones behind the border.


What changes for metaphysics? Nothing at all. At first sight. I don’t want to propose the poetic theory that metaphysics is the area “behind” physics. In other words, to take a border between physics and metaphysics as a concept and then redefine it. This is about shifting boundaries within the concept of metaphysics. We have reported here that Imgarden describes human mental activity as metaphysics. Seen in this light, human beings constantly and incessantly produce metaphysics in the form of thought, politics, and history. At the time, we also asked what would happen if not only humans but also computers took over the production of thought, politics, and history.

The Robots

But maybe it’s not so bad. AI (here and here we have already written about this in another context) learns from us. They learn everything they find on the Internet (on computers). In this way, they collect the knowledge of humanity. And they give the knowledge of humanity back to us. And so they cannot (yet) cross the border. Now we can think about the concept of difference—the concept of the slow and steady shifting of the boundary. The question is what this idea brings us.
On the other hand, the “new” emerges from the known. From the composition of what is known. At this point, however, the bots still cannot feel water and do not know what grief is (they know but are not yet new beings). But as I said, I didn’t want to delve too deeply into the subject. I just wanted to present a thought experiment.

The Thoughts

So what happens when bots listen to music made by other bots? Nothing at first. Not much, at least. What happens when they have to decide which music to listen to? That brings up another question. A question that (we’re back to war, but maybe because that’s where development usually goes the fastest) people have only decided ethically. But what else happens?

There is a part of philosophy, experimental philosophy, that deals with things like “free will”. If machines were to make their own decisions, we would have to revisit that question. Then we would be getting closer to the question of “being”.

There is a second metaphysical question (perhaps we should abandon metaphysics and leave it entirely to the machines, because the field is quite complicated, as poststructuralism has already established). The question we have not yet asked is what is the instance of collected human knowledge to which the AI refers. Because humans like to create instances. Like the “swarm intelligence” that got us nowhere. Or Plato’s “third man”. Or the dragons.

The text was created by humans. But the images are not.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert

Cookie Consent mit Real Cookie Banner