Esthetics of Behavior and Interactive Systems


Session Title:

  • Eliza’s Children: Complexity, Emergency, the Simulation of Behavior in the Space of Interaction

Presentation Title:

  • Esthetics of Behavior and Interactive Systems



  • Panel Statement

    Panel: Eliza’s Children

    Computer-based systems respond to input from a user/visitor/audience. This interaction between the system and an outside party gives rise to a number of ideas about these systems:

    1) That they engender more creative participation of the part of the user than non-interactive systems.

    2) That this behavior is (can be) intelligent.

    This paper looks at these questions from the perspective of behavior. The behavior of an interactive system is, as is the behavior of any being or system, a description of that system’s
    actions in relation to a certain environment. Behavior is not something that the living being does in itself (for in it are only internal structural changes) but something that we point to. (Maturana & Varela) A being exhibits intelligent behavior when it is seen to learn and adapt to the environment, when it is able to move outside of its previous actions and do something new and creative. Thus, behavior is a description; it is attributed to a being by an observer. I will argue that when we attribute ‘behavior’ to a machine, we are projecting our own behavior outward. The Turing Test can tell us nothing about the machine. All it can tell us is about the human.