Reflection: What could artificial intelligence do with FOIA?

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If FOIA requests can be submitted by any US citizen, foreign person or “even a dog,” as journalist M.L. Elrick jokes about, what kind of questions could an artificial intelligence system ask? What kind of information could be requested by something that knows and can process vast amounts of information about governments, bureaucracies and data systems? What kind of questions and answers could they make public for humans?

When a member of the public asks German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen about the dehumanization of contemporary music and arts in his 1972’s lecture “Four Criteria of Electronic Music,” he paraphrases Sri Araubindo’s, an Indian yoga master, poet and 21st century philosopher of the first half of the Twentieth Century, idea of evolution – or involution, as he corrects himself: “We are in a situation nowadays that is comparable (…) with when the first so called human beings came out of the kingdom that scientists do not call human beings.”

This jump took place when an ape took a flesh bone and killed another one with a bone in order to survive, Stockhausen says Araubindo’s said. The era of  intelligence came along. The murdered ape didn’t even come to realize that his partner had become the first human being.  

Then a spiritual transformation came on top of intelligence, he continues, which he calls the suprahuman phase, and then machines made their way into the dehumanization stage that Stockhausen is being asked.

When discussing on this lecture with Uwe Schmidt, another German musician, he raised his concerns about the evolution of Artificial Intelligence systems as the peak of this dehumanization. And his reflection continued: “Are we the apes who won’t see AI’s next move?”, “Are we able to conceive the way AI’s will act, “think”?”

If such: “what would they be discussing?,” “what questions would they be raising?,” Not for us to imagine.


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