The Natural Logic of Artificial Intelligence or, what genetic algorithms really do

  • Mario Carpo University College London


Computers are machines; but they are machines that are different in spirit, and in their own technical logic, from any other machine we have known before of after the industrial revolution. Computers are not mechanical machines--and they are certainly not organic systems, either; they are something else and new and unprecedented. If in doubt, let's just look at what computers do--at the way they work: a fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos. If we use computers to make things--to produce physical stuff--computers make things more or less the way pre-industrial artisans did; not the way any modern engineer would. Gilles Deleuze would have loved that, had he lived to see it. And if we use computers to think, or something akin to that, computers think more or less the way a child could, not the way any modern scientist would. But computers think like children that never grow up, as they do not have to: thanks to their immense memory and processing power, their childish way of thinking is so effective that computers never need to grow out of it.