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How Sci-Fi Reflects Our AI Hopes and Fears

We came up with the idea to write a short paper…trying to make some sense of those many nar­ra­tives that we have around arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and see if we could divide them up into dif­fer­ent hopes and dif­fer­ent fears.

AI in Reality

When data sci­en­tists talk about bias, we talk about quan­tifi­able bias that is a result of let’s say incom­plete or incor­rect data. And data sci­en­tists love liv­ing in that world—it’s very com­fort­able. Why? Because once it’s quan­ti­fied if you can point out the error you just fix the error. What this does not ask is should you have built the facial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­o­gy in the first place?

AI in Sci-Fi

What I hope we can do in this pan­el is have a slight­ly more lit­er­ary dis­cus­sion to try to answer well why were those the sto­ries that we were telling and what has been the point of telling those sto­ries even though they don’t now nec­es­sar­i­ly always align with the pol­i­cy prob­lems that we’re hav­ing.

The Sci-Fi Feedback Loop

We’re here because the imag­i­nary futures of sci­ence fic­tion impact our real future much more than we prob­a­bly real­ize. There is a pow­er­ful feed­back loop between sci-fi and real-world tech­ni­cal and tech pol­i­cy inno­va­tion and if we don’t stop and pay atten­tion to it, we can’t har­ness it to help cre­ate bet­ter fea­tures includ­ing bet­ter and more inclu­sive futures around AI.

What We Really Mean When We Say Ethics”

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University has some real­ly use­ful think­ing and cur­ric­u­la around ethics. One of the things they point out is that what ethics is not is eas­i­er to talk about than what ethics actu­al­ly is. And some of the things that they say about what ethics is not include feel­ings. Those aren’t ethics. And reli­gion isn’t ethics. Also law. That’s not ethics. Science isn’t ethics.

Parenting a Mind

BJ Copeland states that a strong AI machine would be one, built in the form of a man; two, have the same sen­so­ry per­cep­tion as a human; and three, go through the same edu­ca­tion and learn­ing process­es as a human child. With these three attrib­ut­es, sim­i­lar to human devel­op­ment, the mind of the machine would be born as a child and will even­tu­al­ly mature as an adult.

Virtual Futures Salon: Fucking Machines

We are here to talk about fuck­ing machines. In London, on a fog­gy evening, on a Tuesday, for yet anoth­er debate about fuck­ing machines. Another curat­ed dis­cus­sion under­lined by our own human inse­cu­ri­ty about ver­sions of us in sil­i­ca. Fucking anthro­po­mor­phic fuck­ing machines. Machines that fuck us. And let’s face it, machines are already fuck­ing us, or so we seem to be told.

The Monkey Selfie” Case: Can Non-Humans Hold Copyrights?

Naruto, then 3 years old, came up and picked up one of his cam­eras and start­ed look­ing at it. And he made the con­nec­tion… By Mr. Slater’s own admis­sion he made the con­nec­tion between push­ing the shut­ter release but­ton and the change to his reflec­tion in the lens when the aper­ture opened and closed.

Artificial Intelligence is Hard to See: Social & Ethical Impacts of AI

The big con­cerns that I have about arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence are real­ly not about the Singularity, which frankly com­put­er sci­en­tists say is…if it’s pos­si­ble at all it’s hun­dreds of years away. I’m actu­al­ly much more inter­est­ed in the effects that we are see­ing of AI now.