A Thought Experiment on the Social Implications of AI
Janna Avner, Corley Miller & Ian Ingram, Contributors, Lookie-Lookie
The following is an S.O.S to the world, a thought experiment, an attempt to rummage through new iterations on old assertions and compel some inimitable quiddities from an abyss: what if you and I could create a panel of art critics and writers to facilitate Artificial Intelligence research? This research would work towards the creation of a literary chapbook that informs natural language software in de-escalation and dispute resolution.
We’ve nested this in Lookie-Lookie as a cry for help across a very desolate stage, attempting to overcome post-post modern conversations by seeking out resolution-based thinking found in unanimous consensus—in the future that has not yet happened. We want your help, readers, in creating a chapbook with resources and leading-edge thinking about the usage of AIs to solve a new old problem: that of human distance and resentment. Perhaps it is best to call this a new encounter with an old problem. We've been treating each other poorly for a long time, but the prerequisites of Artificial Intelligence—large networks of processors and processor-operators communicating strictly with codable information—seem to have made it easier for individuals to recognize loathing and cruelty in themselves, and to deliver that loathing out into the world.
It seems likely that many AIs will be designed that algo-reify that distance—that code monstrous assumptions and valuations into seemingly dispassionate systems of decision and allocation. It seems further that a great deal of important art and conversation will be required to criticize those AIs and the worlds they assume. We are interested in a different path—we are interested in understanding how AIs, or AI-like tools, might work to address those fundamental gaps that the internet seems so far to have widened. We are interested in approaching the tools of distance and dehumanization with a consideration of whether and how they might be used to heal a certain set of wounds.
It is our opinion that the best place to fight algo-reified violence is with the inputs rather than the outputs—by attempting to alter the minds that may make AIs rather than resisting the AIs so manufactured. To this end, we will work with a broad set of collaborators to produce a chapbook with guidance and consideration of how AI might work to make us better and less distant—less artificial—selves. The chapbook will be in part influenced by interviews and consultations with creative writers and art critics. It may be that an empathy AI, or an AI towards empathy, is a contradiction in terms—this project will answer that question.
Content of Chapbook:
Will you provide us with 200-500 words on how you could contribute? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Provide the philosophical foundation in which dispute resolution with a focus on natural language software is a cultural priority.
- Provide narratives and story-boards on natural language software that incorporate allegory and short story, to then begin to imagine a Machine Syllabus: a set of texts/tutorials/other objects designed to educate a naive artificial intelligence in the circumstances of the world around it.
- Attempt to “humanize” AI by unmasking and exposing institutionalized, cultural and economic biases regarding corporations’ “market viable” AI products.
- Influence creative, work-around solutions to household problems in AI research in funding and feasibility of execution; alternative business model research, innovative work-flow production.
- Determine the material effects of art on society in relation to AI. How can artists and writers contribute to the greater picture and really discuss what affects people’s lives? How can everyone benefit from art?
Why YOU? Why art critics?
Art critics communicate creative solutions in their analyses of works of art to critique cultural biases in society at the same time as they connect with their community of artists and forward-thinking academics. In other words, art critics’ spirit of collaboration is strong as they reflect on and critique the society of our time, by studying the society around a piece of art that makes the artists’ perspective possible. Hence, art critics and writers can be a huge source of information that provide sound conjecture on why society is structured the way it is today.
Not sure where to start in your internet research black hole? Here’s a hint: Jonathan Gratsch, research professor of Computer Science and Psychology at USC, focuses on “human-like software agents for virtual training environments and to use these computational methods to concretize theories on human behavior.” (http://people.ict.usc.edu/~gratch/)
Are you interested? Provide us some fun thoughts, a short story, anything like that, but please, no emotional cul-de-sacs. Only tangibles.