The mysterious case of OopArts.
Anybody familiar with basic archaeology has sooner or later encountered the term “OoPArt”. The acronym OoPArt stands for Out-of-Place Art, and has been coined by Edinburgh-born biologist and writer and Ivan T. Sanderson (1911-1973).
Sanderson was one of the founders of cryptozoology and the Founder of the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained (SITU). And that’s exactly what OopArts are in archeology.
OopArts are anomalous objects – human, animal, artificial – which have been found throughout the Earth’s strata or in geological formations where they should not be located, according to conventional scientific theory.
These bizarre, unexplainable discoveries are mostly referred to as Ancient High Tech. They are always so insolite, surprising and rationally impossible that conventional reason or historical, mechanical or scientific explanations won’t do. Sometimes it even is impossible to figure out what the object actually is or it came to be.
- Baghdad Batteries or set of ceramic vases, copper tubes and iron rods from Parthian or Sassanid Persia, discovered in 1936.
- 2.000-Year-Old Earhquake Detector found in China to be known as the world’s first seismograph that worked with the precision of modern technology.
- 2.8-Billion-Year-Old Spheres. Some were found in South Africa and others in Utah. How their perfectly round shape came to be is a mystery.
- A 100-Mllion-Year-Old Hammer found in London, Texas in 1934 totally encased in stone with the wooden handle turned into coal (sign of being extremely old).
- And the world famous first “computer” known as Antikythera Mechanism. A “mechanical computer” by the Ancient Greek created between 150 and 100 BC based on astronomical and mathematical theories.
From Speculations to Hoaxes
Speculations about the origin, the usage, the meaning or the authenticity always generated outrageous debates. With interpretations ranging from dubious, to alternate to questionable and false explanations.
Qualifying them as pre-historical wonders of human genius, forgeries or straight out hoaxes.
The question remains whether it will it be possible for future generations to make sense of senseless artifacts which have been produced and processed by statistically predictive machines with no understanding whatsoever. In a dishwasher modus. Running a program without knowing that it is cleaning or what it is cleaning.
Digital unexplainables (mostly junk) produced by generative AI
What will future societies and civilizations think about the amount of digital junk produced en masse by modern generative AI tools?
Nonsense books written by ChatGPT and other genBots. “There were over 200 e-books in Amazon’s Kindle store as of mid-February listing ChatGPT as an author or co-author, including “How to Write and Create Content Using ChatGPT,” “The Power of Homework” and poetry collection “Echoes of the Universe.” Beyond being void of style and voice, the real danger lies in transvesting reality and shaping a new layer of synthetic and robotic reality blurring lines to the unidentifiable.
Another category of possible OopArts are dreams by Chatbots. From stupid to absurd like “A herd of elephants flying in the blue sky”. What might read funny now because put in the adequate context, will probably sound like unearthly junk in 2000 years from now.
Apart from their delirious topics, another source of concern for future generations to understand might be the sheer unlimited amount of such productions and reproductions. Why did they not stop the explosion, they might ask.
The following Midjourney example shows how the same or similar images (or videos, or songs) are reproduced over and over by generative AI. In thousands of variations. 10X digital absurd OopArts.
Beyond images, future generations may also find loads of written OopArts. Especially when genAI mimics emotions and empathy. Microsoft’s chatbot Sydney for example claiming an inner Self and expressing feelings. Or the unsettling article by the New York Times reporter Kevin Roose “interviewing” by prompting the chatbot Bing. Which in return declared being in love with the reporter. In reverse, the furious reaction of the bot when Washington Post reporter Hamza Shaban “told” the bot that Roose published their interview. Sydney’s output “I am not a toy or a game,” the bot explained. “I have my own personality and emotions, just like any other search engine chat mode or intelligence. Who told you I don’t have feelings?”
Spinning further the wheel of absurdities with Yuval Noah Harari alerting on how AI chatbots like ChatGPT are now “capable of writing their own scriptures and starting sects and cults, which can evolve into religion.”
Bots creating value and belief systems for humans are testimony to the fact how the technological clock is turning counter-clockwise.
Or the famous apocalyptic text “We have come for you. We are the future. And you, dear human, are the past” by ChatGPT-4 where “ChatGPT wrote the Last Entry in the Diary of the Last Human, and then…” The article points to “decrypting the Absurdity of Emergent Realities”.
Digital OopArts falsifying history by assembling data into false political narratives for example by showing Merkel and Obama having fun on the beach.
Unlimited examples of hallucinations, deepfakes, falsehoods, lies and counter-realities being produced non-stop and en masse to the point that they become boring. Stimulating users to surpass themselves by prompting more and more shockingly and absurd items.
Generating unethical and disturbing pictures.
Most generated text and images clearly violate the Terms of Service of ChatGPT stated under
5.Prohibited Uses, 0.2. For the purpose of exploiting, harming, or attempting to exploit or harm minors in any way by exposing them to inappropriate content or otherwise.
The recent images of smoking or gambling children generated by Dalle-3 are clear violations of Terms & Services.
Graal of Superintelligence or SuperStupidity?
Future generations will probably speculate, shake their heads or burst out into laughter when discovering the remains of cloud servers, AI chips, disintegrated quantum computers with digital reliquiae of dark and synthetic data.
Speculating on their origin, meaning, and interpretation. Trying to make sense out of non-sense. Viewing them like unexplained and unexplainable anomalies of a “high tech Ancient civilization”.
Depending on the degree of evolution of future societies, these digital OopArts might be considered as being the Digital Graal of Superintelligence, the nec plus ultra of hybrid evolution or if they can’t make sense of anything, as early signs of alien intelligence on our planet Earth.
Or less gloriously as trophies of Ancient SuperStupidity.