[NetBehaviour] Positive AI

Alan Sondheim sondheim at gmail.com
Wed Jan 17 20:00:56 CET 2018

Hi Lara, coming to this a bit late. As far as bees go, it's not a question,
as far as I know of gardening; there are pathogens and insecticides
involved and what has to happen, has to happen on the level of legislation
- the same thing with the overall decline in insects around the world. For
personal AI, there's a lot of research being done in creating and working
with robotics embedded in small fuzzy 'animals' that tend to their owners
in a variety of ways; I think they're going to be employed in Alzheimer's
patients and among people who are lonely in general - as you know social
media tends towards loneliness among large segments of the population. If
you look at Tamagotchi, you can see the effect of something, with minimal
AI, that needs tending to continue functioning - these were incredibly
popular twenty years ago. They relied on the owner's tending; it wasn't
reciprocal, except for the feedback that the Tamagotchi was all right; with
Alzheimer's or nursing homes or anyone bed-ridden, current AI animals
respond in kind and can look after patients' or owners' needs. These are
the closest, I think, that one might go at this point - the companion AI
pets are designed to look like kittens or other animals, although there are
some that look more traditionally robotic - one characteristic they share,
I think, is that of cuteness, kawaii, which people strongly relate to. This
might be more than your project can handle, but even a small animal-like
shape with a bot in it, run by Adruino or some such, might be relevant. In
any case, these approaches seem really necessary as so many people are
struggling for companionship; companion animals work well (both for animals
and humans) of course, but have limited ability to engage in some aspects,
and have to always be tended.
It's interesting, because the AI would be based 'across,' not only the
programming, but also the container, the shell-image itself, bridging AI
and animal or human appearance. -
Hope this is useful,
Alan -

On Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 5:59 AM, Lara Stumpf <y at lara-stumpf.de> 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
> <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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