Within a confluence of technical mediation, evolutionary processes, and pluralistic values, it can be jarring to try to determine where “we” are and who that “we” is in the first place. As the world becomes more relational, it is itself becoming embroiled in issues of meaning and access that seem to be constantly changing. Central to these questions of identity and mediation—which in themselves are already difficult to conceptualize—are the complex vectors that confer meaning.
The conversation between media scholar Maya Indira Ganesh and artist Wesley Goatley focuses on technological mediation as it ties interactions and identities into a middle space between places, between identities, and between forms of human and non-human forms of agency. Ganesh and Goatley explore the meanings of “almost-cyborgs” and “almost-humans” in relation to AI and its technical applications. What semantic and cultural registers are evoked in our understandings, organizations, and deployment of robotic or AI “subjectivities,” and what kind of conflicts do they provoke?