What we think about AI largely depends on how we know AI, and most people “know” AI through science fiction. But how well do the AIs in these shows match up with the science? What kinds of stories are we telling ourselves about AI that are pure fiction? And more importantly, what stories _aren’t_ we telling ourselves that we should be? Hear Chris Noessel of scifiinterfaces.com talk about this study and rethink what you “know” about #AI.
You can see the entire Untold AI study at https://scifiinterfaces.com/tag/untold-ai/?order=asc
See the big overview poster of the project at https://scifiinterfaces.com/2018/07/10/untold-ai-poster/
Recorded for the MEDIA, ARTS AND DESIGN conference, 19 JUN 2020. https://www.mad-conferences.com #madai2020
Sorry if this is a repeat, but my attempts to post a few hours ago never went up.
I’ve been enjoying reading Sci-Fi Interfaces off and on for a couple years,
getting inspiration for interface designs for my comic strip. You certainly have
a catalog of artwork of old displays!
Anyway, I was reading about your attempts to categorize AI Personalities in
Science Fiction and to use that as input template for, setting the parameters for
developing AIs for the real world.
The idea being to create a companion for humanity that avoids the many
pitfalls and traps we see in Science Fiction.
If you’ll bear with me, I hope to give you an idea, that I don’t think has come out of
science fiction, but it is how I try to create the AI personalities in my comic.
You see: Virtually all the personalities you see in Science Fiction are stand-ins for human beings.
What’s more, the AIs (and aliens) are virtually all stand ins for a particular personality of human being: The Nerd.
I can say that, because I’m a Nerd myself. (Hey, I draw a comic strip, I think that’s a given.)
The problem is, that Nerds have personality preferences and quirks that really make them fun to think
about as robots or computers, but really makes them unsuitable to be an immortal being that would in
time, evolve nearly godlike powers.
Many AIs embody the parable “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Colossus, given absolute power becomes a Vengeful destroying god who promises to be nice.
(For totalitarian values of ‘nice.’)
This is because a lot of humans (particularly Nerds) have authority issues.
They consider themselves to be an authority, and often will brook no disagreement.
(See Internet Discussion Groups Chatrooms and Forums for the proof!)
I think that’s why you’ve come to the conclusion that SF is *not* the way to go when you’re looking
to develop an AI in the real world.
But, if not SF, then where?
Where do you find a model that would make a good companion for humanity, not just for today,
but for eons to come?
Well, this is going to be the part where you shake your head in disbelief.
Humanity has had a faithful servant who looks after us for something like 20-40 thousand years.
Some studies claimed that it’s 100,000 years, which would make them a companion to humanity…
since before we were *actually* human.
Don’t model your AI after a Nerd, or even a Human at all.
The model you want is the Dog.
Dogs love human beings. They will protect them, obey them and even give their life for them.
They are not, as some researchers would have you believe, simply animated bags of meat that
have a stimulus-response reaction. They have minds, problem solving abilities, likes, dislikes, loves and fears like any biological creature. In short, they have personalities.
But, if properly trained, they love human beings. Doesn’t matter who or what that human is like,
they give them their loyalty because they love people almost instinctively. And, after 20,000 years (at least) some of our instincts have evolved to understand them.
One of the issues in SF you noted was that so many SF Robots Want to be Human
(This is because a Nerd is often the outsider looking in, wanting to join human society.)
This problem doesn’t exist with dogs. They’re perfectly happy being dogs. They just want to be
a helpful part of our lives.
Dogs respect, and love humans, and that’s what you want in AIs yet to come.
(Cats on the other hand, want to rule the world.)
Anyway, I hope this gives you some food for thought.
Thanks for providing me some with your website.
21st Century Fox: The future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades