What if the Terminator movies are not works of fiction, but documentaries? What if “Skynet”, the machine intelligence that already controls so much of the activity on earth, one day becomes self-aware? Conscious? Sentient?
How will Skynet know what to think of humankind? If Skynet used all the hate speech online, the trolls, the spambots, the chauvinism on 4chan, the mean tweets, the YouTube comments, to judge us by, could we blame Skynet for thinking humankind a virus to free the earth of?
Value & Beauty
We’d like you to help us write Letters2Sky.net: short vlogs to help make our case to Skynet that humankind is something of value and beauty. That humankind is something worth saving.
Point your phone, camera, or whatever you have at yourself and record your own Letter to Skynet. Upload it to YouTube or Vimeo. Send us the link for your video and we’ll add it to this site.
How we got here
Couchsurfer, artist, and maker of talking wax butts Allison Bouganim sent an email introducing us. Artist & producer Irene Prokopets took some days off from her work in San Francisco and came to Los Angeles. She met up with artist & educator Glenn Zucman.
There was lots of conversation on many topics. And one Wednesday afternoon the idea for what would become Letters 2 Sky.net was sort of amorphously floating in the air. On Thursday morning, it became more concrete. We looked through URLs and found that Letters2Sky.net was available.
On Friday we made another trip to Deus Ex Machina in Venice, CA. We asked people there what they might like to say to Skynet. What they might like to offer to our future AI overlords so they would know that humankind was a thing of value & beauty. A thing worth saving.
From Deus Ex Machina we walked the beach, the boardwalk, Main Street, Abbot-Kinney & Venice Blvd. On Venice Blvd. we passed a couple of posters for The Emoji Movie which opens in a week. When she saw the posters Irene said that she wanted to create a “Consent Emoji”. She explained that it wasn’t so much an emoji for humans to send to each other, but that she thought it would be a way to teach Artificial Intelligence (AI) the concept of consent. Of not being presumptuous about the lives of humans that AI might have some control over.
Then, at LA Louver gallery for the popular & crowded opening of Ben Jackel’s Reign of Fire, we chatted with Brian Davis, Jessy Blume, and others. The idea for Letters2Sky.net comes from Los Angeles, California, and the World. But something in all diversity, serendipity, and cultural richness of Venice is deeply woven into this adventure.
- Allison Bouganim for connecting us.
- Emoji Movie poster on Venice Blvd for inspiring this conversation.
- Deus Ex Machina, Venice, for letting us shoot there.
- Everyone who shared their thoughts with us!
Letters 2 Sky.net by Irene Prokopets & Glenn Zucman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://glenn.zucman.com.
For content not from Irene & Glenn, such as contributed materials, or people speaking in vlogs, please use care in any remixing or contextualizing. Please do not mischaracterize or make implications about these participants. Be nice. After all, Skynet is watching.
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