Society and Artificial Intelligence: a Deep-Dive Series.


Like many techies, people who’ve used these these rectangular objects called ‘computers’, or anyone who’s seen any sci-fi movie since the 80’s, I have been interested in Artificial Intelligence for a long time.  While we all are mostly aware of the ‘thirty thousand foot’ questions like “are we building a technology that will be superior to Humans, thus replacing ourselves?”, or “Will intelligent machines wreak havoc on existing industries and eradicate employment opportunities in them?”, or the famous “Who would win in a war between the machines and the humans?”,  I’m less interested in questions like these for a number of reasons.  First, whatever political and social ‘solutions’ may be envisaged must first be informed by an understanding of the technology.  Second, are we sure which questions are valid in the first place?  It seems that in both cases that a firm philosophical and technical exploration of Ai is in order.

This series is designed to explore the Ai issue by issue, technical hurdle, breakthrough, test case, and so on.  From the perspective of a lay-person who has some experience in the technical realm, I will be drawing from a wide range of thinkers, pieces of media, Ai architects, mathematicians and social commentaries.  I want to explore the underlying issues like ‘what is consciousness in the first place?’, ‘What scale would Ai systems be applied to?’, ‘How does the development of Ai relate to the larger category of Evolution?’, ‘How has technological development altered the landscape of employment in general, can we apply what is learned there to the oncoming age of AGi?’, and so on.  Also, I hope to bring some of the information learned by doing this into the realm of User Experience design and Interactive Screen Design, as well as into new frontiers of Human Computer Interaction!

By Shane Flox

posted originally here: