I think the question I’m trying to formulate is, how in this world of increasing optimization where the algorithms will be accurate… They’ll increasingly be accurate. But their application could lead to discrimination. How do we stop that?
Increasingly we’re using automated technology in ways that kind of support humans in what they’re doing rather than just having algorithms work on their own, because they’re not smart enough to do that yet or deal with unexpected situations.
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.
How would we begin to look at the production of the algorithmic? Not the production of algorithms, but the production of the algorithmic as a justifiable, legitimate mechanism for knowledge production. Where is that being established and how do we examine it?
In this talk I want to suggest that it’s never quite as simple as to say there is technology and there is art. That there is technology and there is culture. Clearly these things have always been in dialogue and are still. So this means this is a story about art and technology.