Our World with AI

It is interesting to think about the conceptualization of Artificial Intelligence. Most of the readings, discuss the dystopian accountabilities that are attributed to AI since it was brought to the forefront of technology. However, people have always had this hidden or apparent fear of the deepening threat of technological innovation and the ultimate and detrimental effects that it could have on society and our world. When talking about cyborgs and robots people expected a type of technology that was cold, distinctive and far away. Yes a cyborg and/or a robot might re-install a lot of human attributes but at least it doesn’t necessarily resemble the human species. If anything, if a cyborg-robotic attack were to take place, the human race always had a dichotomized “us” and “them” side in order to defeat them. What AI reveals though, is that no one really imagined the form technology would soon take on. Maybe the familiarity with Siri’s voice and attitude, or Google’s Assistant ability to always know what you’re into, the fact that your phone always provides you with results and ads you have discussed with a group of friends, is what creates this bizarre feeling of acquaintance with this type of technology. Yet its complexity also creates the fear and misunderstanding that comes along with it. 

The independence found in this type of technologies, creates this “discourse and false assumptions around AI and computer systems” (Irvine 2021). Ironically, media culture has only deepened the misinformation issue with AI and enhanced this sense of a threatening dystopia (Boden, 2016; Wooldridge, 2020). In reality if more people were to truly understand AI and de-blackbox it, the desensitization towards AI would become obsolete. The success of AI as we know it today can only be attributed to the cumulative expansion and adaptation of various aspects of computation and computing systems that have taken place through out the years.  (Irvine, 2021; CrashCourse, 2019; Boden, 2016; Wooldridge, 2020). From the very early human symbol systems to complicated automated computing calculations, AI’s history is way closer to home and “humanity” than people often think; “Everything we do in computing and AI is part of a long continuum of extending the human symbolic-cognitive capacity for symbolic systems (from language to abstract algebra and digitally encoding multimedia), and designing technical media systems for and with those systems.” (Irvine, 2021, 9). Concepts and patterns that were created even thousands of years ago to improve and facilitated human life and development through its every stage are still being used and the reason behind why we are able to have the technology that is available for us today. 

I really enjoyed going through these readings as they were the perfect connection and delved into my focus on daily uses of AI. I found a lot of similarities in concepts and facts that were mentioned and that I had previously used for other class and research from previous semesters such as my own research for 505 and for Computing and the Meaning of Code (711). 

AI has the capacity to touch most aspects of our lives whether that is with its applications i.e. where can we find AI: everywhere! Its capabilities to adapt to a vast aspect of things from self driven cars to IPAs to sat-nav systems, AI’s “homologous design” (Boden, 2016) can be represented through a myriad of different ways, forms and even languages. It combines the “spirit” of humanistic psychology, philosophy and neuroscience with that of technology, binary, computational and symbol systems that together work towards enhancing and providing solutions for the real human world and our lives. 

Some more questions/comments: 

overselling AI? 

Marvin Minsky 

when overrating AI are we overrating our capacity? the computers/systems? or capacity of our binary symbol and other symbol systems? 

Where does the misinformation problem with AI really originate from?