[NetBehaviour] Positive AI

Tom Keene tom at theanthillsocial.co.uk
Tue Jan 16 13:42:17 CET 2018

Hi Lara,

You might want to think about AI being part of humans, rather than a
separate entity. AI needs us to realise its goal (which we are not
completely party to), and we need AI to achieve what we want.
Somewhere in-between the aspirations of AI and our own aspiration new
things start to happen in the world.  I've found it useful to think
through how technical entities (such as AI) change our conduct,
orientate, or are suggestive of what what we do next. Maybe try finding
questions to ask of AI that it can't answer? How could you 'help' AI
achieve something? What would need to be created so you could work with
it? What are its goals?
Just some musings

On Tue, 16 Jan 2018, at 10:59 AM, Lara Stumpf wrote:
> 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[1]
> (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[2] (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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  1. http://artbot.space
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_gardening
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