In “Interview with the Vampire, (1991) Louis de Pointe du Lac re-counts his conflicted existence spanning two centuries. He wrestles with the idea of inherent evil, and like a modern-day Adam seeks the knowledge of the creator. Vampires make vampires. Likewise, Jean Baudrillard in “The Intelligence of Evil” (2005, p.80) makes the point – “Machines produce only machines.”

Humans dream up machines and they can dream them apart, or even dream differently. Looking back, everything we have created can be changed, remade, or destroyed. In Post-Corona humans are now entangled inside AI-Assemblages. They unwittingly find themselves as Ghosts in the Machine.

Looking forward, narrow views about AI will be remade, as AI hallucinations become features or even bugs that now attract thoughtfulness. Already, neurotechnology is no longer confined to medicine and research. The Ascent of Man is marked by a constantly shifting relationship between humans, machines, and art – a relationship that reflects how humans have projected anthropomorphic behaviours onto machines.

AI-Assemblages in the e-Age have become a prism through which to understand neurotechnologies and even racist, sexist, and transphobic thinking. Traces of biases seep unnoticed from the European Enlightenment, into present-day social structures, and ideologies in formats that resist technological fixes.  AI is technical, institutions, infrastructure, politics, culture, and social practices.

Consumer products and brainwaves have molded a new nexus. Advances in neurotechnology make scanning, analyzing, and selling cerebral data increasingly profitable. Medical privacy laws cover the use of neurotechnologies in clinical settings. However, recent measures introduced in Colorado in the United States focus on consumer products outside medical settings.

Mined brain data has vast potential, and can be used to better target ads, exploit human moods, and impact sales. Synchron, a rival to Neuralink, is aiming to transform medical sciences with first-time access to brain data.

The Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle in his book titled, “The Concept of Mind”, (1949) deconstructs René Descartes’s typology of body and mind as separate but complementary: the “ghost” of the mind giving life to the “machine” of the body.

In “The Ghost in the Machine” (1967) by Arthur Koestler, the longstanding debate surrounding the mind-body problem in the form elucidated by Ryle is taken further. Koestler’s materialistic account argues that everything in nature is both a whole and a part. Atoms are wholes but also parts of molecules.

In the Age of Digital Capitalism, humans are hastily emerging as Ghosts in AI-Assemblages by being both wholes and parts in the assemblage. AI is both constitutive of and constituted by, the social. Redirecting surveillance, ownership, and domination into more democratic directions inside new AI-Assemblages calls for a critical politics of technology. It is here that we find a burgeoning field of fresh opportunities for Ethical AI and Responsible AI.

AI-Assemblages do not seek communion with the heavenly or have hope like humans. Each part of the assemblage is not an independent moral agent. The components lack free will. But algorithms and embodied work are now interlaced.

In some quarters, it is felt that AI can not think of anything new. It is enmeshed with all that already exists. At this time it has an inbuilt political commitment to the status quo, in particular to durable structures and artifacts that embed specific relations of power. They argue in this camp that AI can mix and match, create permutations and combinations, and randomize processes but not make creative leaps – something that requires human imagination.

While some of the outputs of the assemblage are sophisticated and can be described as creative, these outputs remain fenced by abstracting models using the past. AI’s creations become renderings of how things have been for decades, rather than suggesting or imagining how they could be.

Tan Tan and Saga Boy were radical departures from all known forms of kinetic sculpture and puppetry. Minshall’s Mass changed the world. The puppeteer no longer dominated the puppet from above with threads. Minshall inverted that relationship forever. The kinetic sculpture now overlooks the puppeteer from above. It was pure genius. An archetype that is imitated today in multiple settings.

Others contend that AI has produced new things. AIs like Stable Diffusion, and DALL·E 3 are among the tools that are more powerful than those that preceded them. It is indisputable that these tools are startling. The next wave, however, will be even more interesting.

The Ghosts in the AI-Assemblage will execute works that are unbroken collaborations among machines and creative humans in literature, acoustic technologies, wire bending, hosay, and theatres like the epic of Ramleela on a village stage in Caroni.

The playwright Derek Walcott in his 1992 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, expressed amazement at the level of dramatic choreography in an open savannah. An epic poem as magisterial as the Odyssey, and one which remains the only poem on earth that is performed in silence, and never recited.

What will a collaboration of creatives and Generative AI make of the Ramleela of Felicity? This is a space that may have to be renegotiated. AIs may produce different hybrids of authors and genres, and The Ghosts inside the AI-Assemblage will do the same in film, dance, and music.