Sunday, 8 January 2017

we always find something, eh didi, to let us think we exist

Two household robots called Vladimir and Estragon (which refer to themselves at times Mia and Also Mia) are on display, chatting away to one another, ostensibly believing themselves to be human—though I don’t suppose that distinction is necessarily important or necessarily a case of mistaken identity.
So far, they seem to be playing better with their own kind. The names are those of the two main interlocutors of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot (also the name of the language protocols), whom of course only have a finite number of lines and limited patience. Their endless and verging sometimes on recursive (until one of them shifts the subject slightly) and interrogative dialogue is also eagerly followed by a live-stream of human and other chat-bot voyeurs that may or may not be influence the flow of conversation. There seems to be something absurdly profound going on here but I can’t quite identify it. What do you think? Would you invite these devices into your home?