Modern society is characterized by an ambiguity. Progress is tightly bonded to man’s relationship with technology; yet it is technology which threatens to take away our humanity. This anxiety resulted in the dual modernities of the sciences and the humanities The Enlightenment was equally committed to human understanding and liberation. Under the strain of urban industrialization, Modernity manifested itself as an open hostility between the scientific quest for progress and the humanistic desire to preserve the human spirit. Positivistic Modernity entrusted human destiny to rationality’s ability to produce a culture of optimistic, and benign technology. Aesthetic Modernism, suspicious of technology, sought its constrain in order to safeguard freedom and morality. Fearful of technology’s domination of human caprice, the arts in particular practiced the hermineutics of suspicion; appointing themselves as the watchdog of human sensibility. In the mist of this dispute, the growth and the expansion of the market subverted both the sciences and the humanities. resulting in a contemporary landscape in which both progress and morality must stand on the grounding of profit.

Within the history of Bimodernism, artists have taken a retrograde stance against technology. Each new medium was begrudgingly admitted into the arts only in-so-far as it proved itself able to inspire the human spirit. The current growth of computers are particularly alarming. This soft technology not only has the potential to outwardly constrain human freedom, but is capable of penetrating the soft spaces of consciousness itself. In this light, it is not surprising that there is considerable resistance in admitting artificial intelligence into the domain of the arts. I too suffer from this anxiety. Having interacted with computers, it does seem that this medium is so heavily mediated that it is difficult to penetrate beneath its dazzling surface to a deeper human expression. Yet to reject this technology outright is to close the door to the remarkable relationship between mankind and techne’. If such is to be the case, Humanity might as well reject the printing press because its equipmentality mediates human communication. We must remember that the hermineutics of suspicion itself is a technology of the mind, thereby exposing critique itself to be an inseparable techne’ from human consciousness. Instead of driving a wedge between Understanding and Freedom, it is time to forge a new cooperation, lest we continue in the reduction of human values to consumerism. It is in the unity between Understanding and Freedom wherein lies humanity’s horizon. It is through engagement of the arts with artificial intelligence which holds the highest hope for the humanization of this technology.

Since I accept the fact that society has moved into a new cultural condition, I find myself moving with it, though in cautious openness. In this age of high tech., it is in the partnership between human consciousness and artificial intelligence which holds the promise of our future. Perhaps it is the apprehension that technology is calling the shots in this relationship which is responsible for the history of resentment against it. The need to be engaged with technology does raise the question of human freedom. But to this question one must also wonder if the apparent oppressiveness of technology is not itself a product of Modernity. If Modernity had not split understanding from freedom, perhaps our relationship to technology would not be under the current duress. Where it not so, perhaps civilization might have developed a philosophy of technology rather than leaving it to expand unconstrained. Technology is out of balance; but what can bring back the balance? Since our destiny is irrevocably tied to its development, there is no possibility of avoidance. It is through engagement, rather than avoidance that the arts will have its best opportunity to humanize artificial intelligence, recovering the balance we so much desire thereby.