[NetBehaviour] NetBehaviour Digest, Vol 86, Issue 1 - Postive AI

Julie Freeman julie at translatingnature.org
Thu Jan 18 14:04:11 CET 2018

Hi Lara,

Great questions, and you have many answers. You'll probably have spotted
that there is some conflict across the AI 'expert' world with beliefs
positioned on a spectrum which might have something like Save the World and
Apocalypse at either end. From my perspective I've seen AI in action in
nearly every field that uses data - robotics, contraceptive development,
psychology, economics, people management, placing goods on supermarket
shelves... And of course art. There are many applications of positive uses
- music playlists on Spotify employ a variety of AI techniques to analyse
the tune, the genre, the listener... layers and layers of analytical and
pattern detection techniques which result in a individualised stream. My
suggestion is to perhaps look beyond the media and where AI is being hyped
(Alexa, driverless cars, etc) to the paces that AI is being employed for
good but perhaps within the mundane bottom-up tasks that don't set-out to
change the world but influence and adjust the way we treat each other, our
critters and our planet.

Luba Elliot has been researching art and AI over the past couple of years
so she may have some contemporary takes that you might be interested in:

And your question about bees may well have been addressed (apologies if
someone posted this already).

Best wishes for your project.


> >
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:59:57 +0100
> > From: Lara Stumpf <y at lara-stumpf.de>
> > To: netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
> > Subject: [NetBehaviour] Positive AI
> > Message-ID: <73D07489-2343-4BF9-AFF4-036C37D6A01A at lara-stumpf.de>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> >
> > 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/ <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 <
> > 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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