《PHANES (Posthuman Artificial Net Embryo Synthesizer)》

  • Algorithm, Customized Cryogenic Tank, Customized Lab Equipment, Computer with Monitor
  • Dimensions Variable,2020
  • Photo credit | Kontejner

What if an artificial intelligence could help her find my ideal mate? I have eggs frozen in a biobank, I have my whole genome sequenced, and last year I programmed an AI to tell me what errors needed correcting in my genome and how to fix it. Why not let it tell me who I should select to be my mate(s)? This project was born of an earlier work, The Demiurge, which posed the question: how might a machine design and direct the modification of a human genome? Using machine learning, she trained the algorithm upon publicly available genome-wide association data to develop its risk model, then gave it her whole genome sequence to decide what "errors" (or "bugs") in the artist's code required a "patch". The Demiurge would then print out a set of instructions for her, including a viral vector construct containing CRISPR-Cas9 and target gRNA sequence to modify her somatic cells. Using this same data set, she will ask for volunteers to submit their genome data. The algorithm, named PHANES after the Greek Protogonos, will evaluate submissions from volunteers to generate our hypothetical progeny and 'optimise' for disease reduction. This work is intentionally provocative, and made even more so as it is functional (not speculative). Yet, it is proposing a step toward carbo.silico entanglement that is already in progress―from shifts in matchmaking due to the back end of social media and dating apps, to selection of embryos for IVF―which makes PHANES a step in the same direction.

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