Simon Weckert
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Zapfenstreich (Human-out-of-the-loop)

Installation, 2019

A machine was trained with neuronal audio syntheses to play the tune of "Zapfenstreich" (engl. Taps), a song that symbolizes the human soldiers to retreat to their military bases. The object calls attention for the development of "lethal autonomous weapons systems", a 3rd revolution in modern warfare which raises significant discussions between the United Nations about the use of this kind of systems.Can we pass the decision on life and death to a machine that makes emotionless autonomous decisions, or is the human influence the important factor that can prevent death? How much machine autonomy is useful in systems, that could replace troops with machines and make the decision for states to go to war easier and therefore shift the burden of conflict even further on to civilians? Do we want that big technology companies develop algorithmen which are been used in this systems ?

In 2020 the Installation was placed as a performenc in front of the Google Headquarter Europe in Zurich to raise awareness of the heavy participation by developing algorithms for lethal autonomous weapons systems by this company.