The resources of the Internet are opening up an almost godlike vista for us – like an answering machine that can instantly provide us with profound, subtle and complex factual knowledge on any topic whatsoever – while simultaneously building up a new vista through the analysis of big data. Having transformed books from physical monuments into streams and realised the dream of the global library, contemporary technologies are approaching the creation of a digital oracle, artificial intelligence, the nature of which will lay down the script for the future. ::vtol:: zoltan is the prototype of a meta-intelligence, making predictions on demand, free of charge and without stopping. The machine of revelations created by Dmitry Morozov is the embodiment of redundancy of information, theories and criticism, of redundancy as a condition of quality. ::vtol:: zoltan is portrayed as the inevitable descendant of Vannevar Bush's Memex, the Great Allplanetary Informatorium of the Strugatsky brothers, the thinking machines from the Dune universe, the charming but dangerous HAL 9000, and other systems armed with knowledge from the world of science fiction. Analysing a vast array of variables – from the nature of lighting and the number of people passing by to indicators of seismic activity, the weather and currency rates – ::vtol:: zoltan shapes a vision of the future. He formulates his prophecies into continuous streams of text, waxing ironically over the latest advances in thought and reminiscent in turn of potpourri, a Twitter stream or list of online search results. We stand before a new iteration of such digital assistants as Siri, Alexa and Alice – a personal forecaster, continuously producing a surplus of information and in need of readers.
text by Ekaterina Krylova