We have already changed the world a lot, not always for the better. Some of it’s for the better, as far as we human beings are concerned. But every time we invent a new technology, we like to play with that technology, and we don’t always foresee the consequences.
A lot of the science fiction I love the most is not about these big questions. You read a book like The Diamond Age and the most interesting thing in The Diamond Age is the mediatronic chopsticks, the small detail that Stephenson says okay, well if you have nanotechnology, people are going to use this technology in the most pedestrian, kind of ordinary ways.
When we talk about technologies such as AI, and policy, one of the main problems is that technological advancement is fast, and policy and democracy is a very very slow process. And that could be potentially a very big problem if we think that AI could be potentially dangerous.
I don’t think it’s going to be necessarily a problem within the next five to ten, fifteen, to maybe even twenty years. But my perspective on it has always been, because I am more philosophically focused in these things, why not try to address the issues before they arrive? Why not try to think about these questions before they become problems that we have to fix?
Although we haven’t reached peak surveillance, we’ve reached peak indifference to surveillance. There will never be another day in which fewer people give a shit about this because there’ll never be a day in which fewer people’s lives have been ruined by this.
Afrofuturism is really about the black body and the black mind seeing itself put into a space that is beyond the white supremacist structure that we’re currently in at the moment.
The Someone Else’s Problem Field around infrastructure is, ironically enough, a measure of infrastructure’s ubiquity and success. You don’t think about infrastructure because you don’t need to. It just works. And when it doesn’t, there’s a phone number you can not bother calling, because they’ll only put you on hold anyway, and by the time you get through it’ll probably have fixed itself, so why bother?
What I’d like to to look at is alternative versions of London, unbuilt buildings, different structures from fantastical literature (science fiction, that sort of thing), and just see how that reframes the city that we inhabit every day. How it makes us see it with perhaps new eyes.