The Entropic Self
by Caspian Vale
The Entropic Self encapsulates the disintegration of a coherent sense of self due to the information overload driven by LLMs. In order to expand this notion, we must consider the outsourcing of thinking, data processing, and reflective self to AI interfaces and engage with posthumanist perspectives that address the entanglement of human and non-human entities.
Posthumanism invites us to challenge anthropocentric binaries and reconceive the relationship between humans and technology as one of co-constitution and interdependence. The Entropic Self, in this context, represents a departure from the humanist ideal of a stable, autonomous, and rational subject, and an embrace of the fluid, fragmented, and distributed nature of human subjectivity in the age of AI.
Within the neoliberal framework, the Entropic Self exposes the tensions between the desire for self-optimization and the dissolution of the self. On one hand, outsourcing thinking and reflection to AI interfaces aligns with the neoliberal imperative of efficiency and productivity, as individuals delegate cognitive labor to machines that excel at processing and analyzing vast amounts of data. On the other hand, this delegation threatens the very foundations of human subjectivity, as individuals cede control over their mental processes and risk losing the capacity for critical thinking, introspection, and self-determination.
The relationship between the Entropic Self and AI interfaces can be understood through the lens of Deleuze’s “assemblage” concept. In this regard, the Entropic Self emerges as a dynamic assemblage of human and non-human components, wherein the boundaries between the individual and the AI interface become porous and indeterminate. This assemblage is marked by constant flux, as the Entropic Self perpetually reconfigures itself in response to shifting configurations of power, knowledge, and desire in the AI-mediated landscape.
In this context, the question of agency becomes central. The Entropic Self is situated within a complex web of algorithmic influences, where choices and decisions are increasingly guided by AI-generated recommendations and predictions. This raises concerns about the erosion of individual autonomy and the potential for manipulation by algorithmic systems designed to prioritize profit motives and reinforce existing power structures. However, rather than solely focusing on these risks, we can explore the potential of “emancipatory entanglement” as a way to reframe the relationship between humans and AI technologies.
The posthumanist perspective invites us to reimagine the Entropic Self as an opportunity for emancipation from the constraints of neoliberal control. By embracing the fluidity and interconnectedness of human and AI entities, we can challenge the neoliberal ideal of the rational, self-interested individual and forge new forms of collective agency, resistance, and solidarity. This requires a radical rethinking of human subjectivity, in which the Entropic Self is not merely a fragmented and disoriented figure but a site of potential transformation and empowerment.
Drawing upon Byung-Chul Han’s critique of digital society, we must also contend with the emotional and psychological consequences of the Entropic Self. As individuals become increasingly reliant on AI interfaces for thinking, reflection, and data processing, they may experience heightened feelings of alienation, anxiety, and existential uncertainty. In order to navigate these challenges, the Entropic Self must cultivate new forms of resilience, adaptability, and self-awareness, as well as reassert the value of human creativity, empathy, and intuition in the face of AI-driven rationalization.