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One critical point the article makes is the Artificial Intelligence network, XNET, has been able to configure imagery that has been collected by interpreting images from about ten million videos on YouTube. Through this field of imagery, the XNET AI network has been able to understand imagery of humans and cats. At the same time, the field of inquiry has helped XNET to also develop imagery that reflects some of the operational definition of human beings: "Dean notes that the computers 'learned' a slew of concepts that have little meaning to humans. For instance, they became intrigued by 'tool-like objects oriented at 30 degrees,' including spatulas and needle-nose pliers." This means that amongst the collection of what it means to be human, XNET understood objects and aspects of human beings that we might not credit as important.
From this point, the article pivots to the implications of such a finding. One element of this discourse is how XNET might be configuring what it means to be human by what it is we do and use. It might not mean much to us that objects "oriented at 30 degrees" is such a dominant motif within the collection of imagery. Yet, for those interested in the implications of AI, it speaks to the idea that our definition of human beings as collected from the internet must be more broad and inclusive of the complexity of what it means to be a human being. The technology within XNET configures what it sees online. This means that the more eclectic aspects of human identity that are online will result in a wider and inclusive definition of human consciousness that will be appropriated by technology platforms such as XNET. Additionally, the larger issues raised in the reading almost transcends AI. What does it say about us as human beings that so much of what AI reads revolves around objects "oriented at 30 degrees?" The reflective aspect here compels human beings, themselves, to consider what it means to be human. The article ends with asking questions about what we want our digital footprint to be as we begin to understand the dimensions of AI and ourselves.
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