The film »Deep Time Machine Learning« is an informational and sensual exchange between tools and machines across histories, and an exploration into the development and precarious existence of modern robotics and intelligent machines. The film is composed of an array of many different types and resolutions of images; screen captures of LiDAR (3-D laser capture radar) and data scans, stereomicroscopy, 4k video, GoPro footage, and more.
In the film, a robot arm investigates a 200,000-year-old hand axe and an eighteenth-century mechanical calculator (the first fully functional four stage computation device). The robotic arm passes through interfaces of geology, archaeology, mechanics, and computation and intimately explores its own coming into being as a product of engineering. Excerpts from the latest EU Report on Civil Law and Robotics, published in January 2017, punctuate the video, describing »the need to define the subjectivity of intelligent machines«, as well as their legal status and the liabilities that derive from their implementation. The critical, uncertain, and undetermined state of intelligent machines towards subjecthood emerges through the eyes of a human society, themselves struggling with this ecotechnical revolution, »that leaves no aspect of society untouched«.