[NetBehaviour] Positive AI

marc.garrett marc.garrett at protonmail.com
Tue Jan 16 13:12:42 CET 2018

Hi Lara,

Thanks for your thoughtful post on the list.

We ourselves at Furtherfield are going through some tough changes to deal with some of the questions you are answering.

I think you'll be hard pressed to find any disagreement with your questions.

However, as you have expressed -- what to do?

Well, I think this list is great a starting point to pull in some people asking similar questions.

Although, I'm not sure how many on here are specifically working with AI. Worth finding out I'm sure.

Wishing you well.


Marc Garrett

Co-Founder, Co-Director and main editor of Furtherfield.
Art, technology and social change, since 1996

Furtherfield Gallery & Commons in the park
Finsbury Park, London N4 2NQhttp://www.furtherfield.org/gallery
Currently writing a PhD at Birkbeck University, London
Just published: Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain
Eds, Ruth Catlow, Marc Garrett, Nathan Jones, & Sam Skinner
Liverpool Press - http://bit.ly/2x8XlMK

Sent with [ProtonMail](https://protonmail.com) Secure Email.

> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: [NetBehaviour] Positive AI
> Local Time: 16 January 2018 10:59 AM
> UTC Time: 16 January 2018 10:59
> From: y at lara-stumpf.de
> To: netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
> Dear NetBehaviour,
> I am a design and art student and have been working on my graduation project with the topic Artificial Intelligence. My approach is creating an AI-something to support an everyday activity. However, I am lost. I have done a lot of research and most of the time I am very critical: A lot of power is given to algorithms and them working with statistics creates a big and dangerous mainstream (like those big data algorithms deciding what we see online), some inventions are dangerous (like self-driving cars) and most of the time inventions could be cool, if we ignored the evil people behind them.
> But I don’t want to create a critical art object, I want to create positive AI. Something to support us (with a prototype). How could AI support us while not replacing us? As Joseph Weizenbaum states, a computer cannot be human; but right now, all those AI developers try to make a human AI happen. I don’t want deep learning algorithms to analyse movies with their trailers and success statistics in order to find the solution for the perfect trailer in order to replace creativity by mainstream in the future. So, supporting us could work by assisting us… like Siri or Alexa. Maybe I could research an assistant-AI for my graduation presentation? Well, there is hardly anything it could assist me with. I don’t want to have AI help me with my content because I dislike content being build up through statistics. And I want to hold the presentation myself, I don’t want to listen to computers instead of humans. Everything else just feels like small gadgets. But maybe AI might help me by creating ideas? Mixing statistically useful components or, maybe even more interesting, mixing useless components to [create new ideas](http://artbot.space) (http://artbot.space/)? Hm…
> My thoughts go on and on. So, what would happen if I thought about the relationship between AI and us? Or maybe AI could help the relationship between humans? But not just like an app, where people are assigned to each other. I don’t know. Would that even really be AI? Or just boring algorithms? Where would we really need AI? Maybe in nature, or at least outside, where the surroundings keep changing all the time so we would at least need some kind of AI for orientation?
> Thinking about nature made me think about bees dying. Maybe AI could help us with the environment if we silly humans don’t do it? Maybe I could create a small robot to drive around and do some [guerilla gardening](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_gardening) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_gardening), like loosing a few seeds in order to have more flowers in cities. What do you think?
> Thank you!
> Lara
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