Dr. Peter Asaro talks at 601Artspace on December 12, 2012, as part of The Unspecific Index public program. The video is the THIRD and FINAL PART of the talk.
Can drones see? Do robots think? Will artificial processors ever match the human brain’s capacity for understanding? In his work on automated warfare and post-human ethics, philosopher Peter Asaro explores the theories of mind and representation that underlie dominant conceptions of Artificial Intelligence. Drawing a distinction between the natural meaning of indexical signs—for instance, smoke as an indicator of fire—and the “non-natural meaning” of symbols, Asaro argues that the brain deals with the world through embodied interactions rather than through elaborate systems of symbolic representation. Touching on recent debates that emphasize material practices of producing knowledge over traditional theories of mind built upon mental images, perception, and subjective experience, Asaro explores the parallels between philosophical attempts to understand representation and the illusive nature of the index.