Watch a creepy disembodied robot mouth recite prayers, using AI

The Prayer” by Diemut Strebe is, “an experimental set-up to explore the possibilities of an approximation to celestial and numinous entities by performing a potentially never-ending chain of religious routines and devotional attempts for communication through a self-learning software.”

In other words, it’s a creepy-ass robot mouth that prays like the brazen head once conferred upon by Pope Sylvester II, and the Eschaton is nigh.

A little more from the artist’s website:

The Prayer is an art-installation that tries to explore the supernatural through artificial intelligence with a long term experimental set up. A robot – installation operates a talking mouth that is part of a computer system to try to connect to ‘the divine’ the supernatural or ‘the noumenal’ as the mystery of ‘the unknown’, using deep learning, a method of machine learning, that attempts to mimic human brain circuits with a self learning software.

According to the conviction of most scientists within the research about artificial intelligence, robots as self-learning software running on so called neuronal networks of deep learning should in principle be able to mimic or generate any form of human consciousness even in a superior way. We want to test and explore this ability on religious experiences, thoughts and behavior with a long term experimental set up.

How would a divine epiphany appear to an artificial intelligence? The question may sound absurd but the focus of the project could maybe shed light on the difference between human and AI machines in the debate about mind and matter and reflect on the potentials and implications of deep learning AI within both its narrow setting and general state.

The Prayer [Diemut Strebe]

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Thom Dunn