Intelligence and Wisdom: AI Meets Chinese Philosophers

Discussions about artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and their impact on humans and the future of human society continue to figure prominently across the global media and policy agendas.  In the current global pandemic, AI and robotics have once again demonstrated their great potential for contributing to the well-being of human society.

This current book is centered on how we may rethink foundational values by tapping into the wisdom of Chinese philosophical traditions. Concurring with such observations and provocations and to foster innovative foundational thinking befitting this era, the China Center of the Berggruen Institute brought together AI scientists and Chinese philosophers in late 2017 and since then conducted a series of dialogues and workshops. These discussions, which took place over an 18-month period, culminated in this current volume that reflects on AI’s impact on human beings and the human society by philosophers well-versed in Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and Western philosophical traditions.

Editor(s): Bing Song
Published Date: 2020
Publisher: CITIC Press

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.