Alexander König. The end of logic and the metaphysical emergence out of data

This lecture discusses AI as a symptom of a longer-term social development in which the process of cognition is shifted away from subjective human experience towards data structures that immanently represent the evidence of cognition. According to the idea of computer scientists, statistical algorithms are able to uncover structures of cognition through direct evidence. While the algorithmic analysis and extraction of data is the subject of much discussion and critique, little attention is paid to the genealogical relationship of the data to the knowledge gained and the underlying epistemology. The nature of this data is fundamentally different from that of scientific data, as it is not derived from objective measurement in the world or surveys, but is generated passively by the subjects themselves. This feedback loop of behavioral data leads to a new form of normative surveillance and disinformation strategies.

The lecture is also an appeal to the acceptance of heterogeneous knowledge structures, since especially the application of technical ideas to social fields always has a normative effect. In the sense of the dialectic of enlightenment, this heterogeneity must remain reason-based in order to avoid radical mythologizations. A critique of (scientific and technical) reason must not result in its abolition, but must itself produce clear positions and concepts with which this new technology can be shaped accordingly and not just dismissed or glorified as a mere consumer offer.

Dr. Alexander König is a media theorist, researcher, and av-artist based in Leipzig, Germany. He is employed by the Bauhaus University Weimar and has worked as a freelancer in the fields of real-time animation, media technology, and digital video. König holds a doctorate from the University of Fine Arts in Vienna (Department of Cultural Theory, Prof. Diedrich Diederichsen). His current research and teaching are in the field of machine learning / artificial intelligence, with a focus on critical approaches.