Turing’s Assembly Line
By AND-OR (and-or.ch) – René Bauer and Beat Suter
Turing‘s assembly line is a cross between a gameart/artgame and an eLearning (automatic learning) project. It was simultaneously developed for the amazing plato systems (automatic learning, 1960+) and for the web. It has been created by the Swiss art group AND-OR.ch (René Bauer and Beat Suter) in 2020.
As player you are not a user of the universal machine, you are Alan Turing‘s universal machine yourself. Please, sit down and begin to work!
You will receive task after task. You have to decide if you want to execute a task or if you don‘t. Of course you will also encounter some errors among the tasks. No program and no coder is perfect! You may even be confronted with exceptions, fork bombs … and more. Will you be fast enough? How many operations are you able to execute per minute? How long can you keep up the assembly line?
Turing created a slave, that works without thinking, without arguing and without any motivational design – the universal machine is just a bookkeeper with pencil and paper. Therefore, Turing serialized everything to simple tasks in a line. He mechanized logic thinking to an assembly line job. And today almost everything is based on this universal (bookkeeping) slave from cars and excel sheets to servers, computers, smartphones, and AI. But more and more this universal serf or slave is somehow pushing us to the edge and turns us into “fun slaves” of computers and processes.
The artwork is documented on: http://www.and-or.ch/turingsal/
The artwork exists in two variants:
1. Web Version: https://turingsal.and-or.ch/ (playable in browser)
2. Plato System Version (PLATO SYSTEM is an astonishing system that was built in the 1960s as a Multiplayer-eLearning system with graphical terminals. The founders of PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations) invented groundbreaking things like: automatic learning, personal notes, public notes, chats, forums, multiplayer games etc. There is still an instance online in: CYBER1.ORG. You can enter the system with terminal software. Once inside the system you can play “Turing‘s assembly line” in its original version.)
Utopical System of the 1960s
About the Author(s):
René Bauer and Beat Suter are the founding members of the artgroup AND-OR.
René Bauer has an M.A. degree in German philology and literary studies, biology
and computer linguistics from the University of Zurich. He works at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) as a lecturer, researcher and head of Master’s education in Game Design.
Beat Suter holds a doctorate in literature from the University of Zurich, with a focus on digital literature. He is senior lecturer for Game Design at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Bauer and Suter manage the GameLab (http://gamelab.zhdk.ch) at ZHdK. Their artgroup AND-OR is specializing in media art and gameArt. It operates since 2001 from Zurich, Switzerland (http://www.and-or.ch).
Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Website or live experience