Robot Diary

Jessica Field

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Robot Diaries
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Robot Diary, 2014 - Present

This art piece has two components: 1) it is a written in an encyclopedia that has been rebound into a note book with blank pages. The first book is a found object, the second has been rebound by myself. 2) The project is hand written in script with a fountain pen and chronicles the creation and life of a robot.

This is a project that is an ongoing diary that is written by an imaginary scientist who creates an artificial life being using neural net coding practices and chronicles its growth from the moment it is activated. The diary outlines the creation of the robot which mirrors the incubation of pregnancy and the robot’s development is based on a reinterpretation of my observations of my son’s development from birth looking at his development through the lens of an artificial life programmer attempting to extrapolate how the code is contributing to its development. The scientist’s research statement is in the curiosity of whether the program strategy of coding a robot with learning priorities that are defined by greed, entitlement, selfishness, egotism, and envy will foster an independent free thinking being.

These survival concerns serve to develop the personality but will the personality in turn thrive to define itself beyond the tools to grow and know its own independent qualities and define itself by developing its own algorithms of responsibility, respect, empathy, compassion and confidence so it can truly understand its identity and place in the world it exists in. Thus, the diaries are focused in revealing through observation how growth is intertwined with survival concerns, but what makes the robot unique is how it reinterprets what it is given to define new algorithms that make sense of what it sees in terms of its own making from the experiences it lives through. This is the challenge of the diary, how to grapple with observing these new algorithms and connect them to how the machine uses it to develop its individuality and understanding of its place in existence.