As the first Captcha tests appeared after the turn into the new millennium, it was clear that artificial intelligence (AI) had well and truly become a problem. To access certain websites it has since become necessary to prove that one is a human being and not a computer program, by identifying for example graphically distorted sequences of signs or zebra stripes. Captcha stands for: “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart”. The more often we do this test, the better computers become at simulating us, for every result is played back to the learning machines as a training exercise. At the same time, with every test we become increasingly similar to the machines, our thinking adjusting to how machines think. The abbreviation Captcha resonates with the English word: “to capture”. But who is capturing who?
The continuous expansion of the interactive sphere between humans and digital technologies increasingly propelled by their own momentum, is meanwhile unmistakable. The Dresden Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge looks at this expansion and various forms of dealing with it. Machines imitate our individual and collective behavior. But do we understand the knowledge that arises in the process and are we capable of recognizing ourselves in the mirror of this knowledge? Whether the continually advancing technological developments can be described genuinely as artificial Intelligence in its fullest sense, remains the subject of much debate. This Blackmarket is an opportunity to find out about such debates. Moreover, the “AI” lends wings to the collective imagination and serves as a cipher for the controversies in society as to the state of digital culture today.