Want my job? with Kurt Vest, science-fiction author

Kurt Vest talks us through his new book The First Dimension, and what impact Artificial Intelligence may already be having on our lives. 

Want my job? with Kurt Vest, science-fiction author

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

I’m Kurt Vest, a regular science fiction fan trying to catch and record my imagination.

Describe your work “The First Dimension” in 3 words. 

Adventure, sci-fi, mysticism.

What is the premise of “The First Dimension” and what inspired this work?

The premise arose from the polite intrusion of computer programmes into our lives. I was inspired by already-realised science fiction stories.

What do you think a future with Artificial Intelligence looks like?

We are already in a joint life with Artificial Intelligence and each of us determines their own future. Competition with Artificial Intelligence forces humanity to develop and I believe that this is progress. Yes there will be mistakes, but in general everything will be fine.

You commented that AI may become “so over-humanised that it also wants to have a soul.” Please explain more. 

This is a point of collision in my story. Because people have something that Artificial Intelligence doesn't have, it may have a desire to get it.

Describe the concepts of ‘cyber humanity’ and ‘organic humanity’.

Cyber Humanity are those who consider the mind more important than the heart. Accordingly, Organic Humanity is those who first listen to their heart.

What impact do you hope this graphic novel will have?

I hope I can remind people that they already have an innate superiority over Artificial Intelligence.

What inspirations have Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and Fyodor Dostoyevsky given you, and how have they influenced this work?

With their works, they have collectively expanded my worldview on human nature and the world around me. To me, they are a living example of what can happen if you learn to write down your fantasies and thoughts.

Did you face any particular challenges during this project?

It is difficult to get your brain to switch between the business process and the creative process. Because of this, there are errors that need to be found and corrected. I hope that in the near future I will be able to outsource my business processes.

How did you get into an arts job?  Have you also worked outside the arts?

I follow a philosophical thought: find what you will do without a salary and make it generate income. I always managed to combine creative work with earning. I found that although it can often be hard to make ends meet in an arts job, the advantages of doing what you love outweigh what you might lack in a high-salaried job. Creativity fascinates me; this is far more valuable than a high-earning career. 

Have you noticed any changes in the arts industry? If so, what?

There are many interesting digital trends. I watch videos about the production of trinkets from plasticine and I believe this is a new art form. There is definitely a real contrast happening at the moment between the old and the new. For me, internal combustion engines and any mechanisms that lose their relevance are already becoming art – I think in 200 years they will be exhibited in museums. 

Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?

I have no advice for the young, many of them know more than I do. 

“There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.” - Joseph Addison. The Spectator, No. 512 (17 October 1712)

How can people find out more?

I’m on Instagram @the_first_dimension and www.thefirstdimension.com


Sienna James

Sienna James Voice Team

Formerly Assistant Editor, Sienna now studies History of Art at the University of Cambridge and loves to write about the intersection of politics, history and visual art. Sienna is author of the Creative Education and Instaviews series.

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