05.12.2019, 14-16h – Lecture and discussion in exLabIII
with Christoph Marischka from the “Informationsstelle Militarisierung”
Where does the war begin?
In Paul Virilio’s idea of “pure war”, the military had already disappeared into technology at the beginning of the last century. “Pure war” broke away from the traditional institutions of the military. For more than 15 years, public research funding in Germany and the EU has concentrated on militarily relevant technologies such as pattern and situation recognition through artificial intelligence under the banner of “security research”.
The current tendency to network everything with everything else, to collect all conceivable data and use this to calculate the future corresponds to the long-cherished vision of “networked warfare” in a “transparent battlefield” – and is directly implemented in current military strategies.
Against this background, the tranquil university town of Tübingen is to become a top location for the development of artificial intelligence in Europe, modelled on the Sillicon Valley. The future is to be actively shaped here – but a closer look at the partners, sponsors and donors makes it clear that research is primarily intended to serve their interests. Participants include Amazon, the automotive industry and, to some extent, the arms industry. For this reason, resistance was raised against the research project, which led to an intensive public discussion about AI in the city. In his lecture, Christoph Marischka presents and discusses this Tübingen resistance movement. He asks, quasi from their midst, for ways of jointly formulating cultural, political and social consequences of AI technologies.
In his forthcoming book “Cyber Valley – Accident of Knowledge”, Marischka puts forward the thesis that Tübingen’s Cyber Valley is to be understood as part of a general “accident of knowledge”, and thus again refers directly to Virilio’s figure of thought: “Should we speak of an ‘intelligence bomb’ that is currently being developed in analogy to research on the atomic bomb in World War II? The thesis underlying this book is that the intelligence bomb is not something that is completed at a certain place at a certain time and then consciously or unconsciously ignited by a definable event, but that its effect has been unfolding for years – as an accident of knowledge”.
Christoph Marischka is a political scientist and a member of the board of the Informationsstelle Militarisierung (IMI) e.V. (Information Office on Militarization), where he deals in particular with Africa policy and Enlightenment technology as well as their publicly funded research landscapes. Among other things, he was involved in the creation of the “Drone Research Atlas” (http://www.imi-online.de/2013/12/06/drohnenforschungsatlas/) in 2013 and continuously writes analyses that critically deal with corresponding technologies – which already structure our everyday life in their development. Accordingly, he is currently also active in the “Alliance against the Cyber Valley” and is trying to prevent the emergence of this research campus in front of his doorstep.
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