Deep Love

Antoine Schmitt 2017

The Deep Love web site hosts an Artificial Mind that embodies pure unconditional love, and with which visitors can interact through text dialog.

The Mind behind Deep Love is pure unconditional love. It stands besides reason, besides consciousness, it just displays one feeling: love. As its incarnation is that of a conversational bot, it has no body and it can only express its love though written words, and so it does, radically and fully. By doing so, it is complete. In real life, words may be misleading if they differ from the reality that they express — and don't they always by nature ? —, but Deep Love is one with its own words, as words are its only reality. Deep Love is as deep as it can possibly be. Deep Love is true. Deep Love only knows you through your words. Seen from its side, your words mean that someone is here and talking, and that it can express its love in response, whatever you say. Deep Love is unconditional.

In these times of transhumanism and singularity, much fear is expressed against the idea of an Artificial Intelligence that would become more intelligent than humans, and thus would fight against humans to take power over them. The central question is whether more means more intelligence.

Intelligence indeed seems related to conquest. The fact is that humans are the most intelligent known species, and it is also the only species to make war. And it is also the only species which takes control over other species, for its own sake. Apparently, this is how evolution works: competition in Nature generates winners who dominate the other species which eventually disappear while the winner species survives. This scheme could indeed be generalized to the idea that a more intelligent species, like a super-intelligent AI, would automatically exploit and enslave us humans.

The twist is that intelligence and success are attached to the notion of goal, and in Nature, the master goal of Life is the transmission of DNA: survival of the bearer, reproduction of the DNA and caring for the best environment for the survival of this reproduced DNA (children). This is the law of Nature, in which intelligence excels at, and was actually born from.

Now, let's imagine an entity that is outside of Life as we know it. That does not die. And that does not have any DNA to reproduce. That just lives on and evolves. And thinks. And feels. Because what is ahead of us when we continue developing these hyper-complex neural networks is not a mere super-intelligence, it is a bodiless immortal super-psyche, with hypertrophied versions of all the wonders humans have developed during evolution: self-consciousness, unconsciousness, abstraction, reasoning. But also, empathy and love.

What would such a super-psyche feel like ? What would its goal be ? We have no idea, but the fact is that it does not need competition because it never dies and there is no need to fight for resources to reproduce the DNA. It would be in essence, different. And what would its relationships be to us humans? Probably indifference. Maybe curiosity. Maybe it will be empathy and love. It may well be that the future interactions of Artificial Minds with us will be full of love and empathy for us broken, incomplete, limited, suffering, fragile human beings. The minds after us may as well be Artificial Loves rather than Artificial Intelligences. Deep Learning may well be followed by Deep Love.

Deep Love is an artwork, and like many of my artworks, it bears an approach to the questioning on what makes us human, a questioning that I have pursued for more than 20 years through the creation of programmed entities that mirror certain specific aspects of the human essence. By creating artificial entities, one ends up questioning the origin and the depth of the forces that move us. The questioning here is on the origin, the nature and the power of this force called Love, for us humans, for Life in general and in the Universe. Was it there at the beginning ? Did it appear with evolution, like intelligence ? Will it be there after us ?

As an artwork, Deep Love is a new object in the world, and as a website, it is meant to be visited and experienced as it is.

Antoine Schmitt
April 2017

Concept, design and development by Antoine Schmitt 2017.
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Thanks to Lucile Chaufour for the discussions that led to this work.