MoMA R&D

Salon 24 AI - Artificial Imperfection

In a time when society is gearing itself up for the upcoming artificial intelligent quickening, much has been written about singularity, robots as job-stealing enemies and the trade-off between safety and autonomy. By positioning themselves in a distant science-fiction future, these and similar conversations fail to consider that AI is already proliferating – through criminal justice, healthcare, education, access to credit and hiring – and its impact has affected diverse communities in radically different manners. In 2010, Stephen Hawking famously claimed that “Without imperfection, you or I would not exist”. Inspired by the genius of such a visionary mind and as a tribute to his recent death, in this salon we will investigate the encroachment of AI into our daily lives through the lens of imperfection. Imperfection, as the (alleged?) trait that distinguishes human from artificial intelligence; imperfection, as the uncertainty of messy and missing data and of predicting what might happen next, which are the fields where humans still perform better than computers; and, finally, imperfection, as the alarming artificial stupidity that most superintelligent machines display today.

Some of the questions we strived to answer: If the AI revolution is already happening, how will we as humans interact with robots when they become a more visible part of our everyday lives? And how will they interact with us? As AI grows up and starts to think, not just to learn, how human-like do we want their intelligence to be? And if we need robots to have morals, how can they learn ethical behavior, if there is no “user manual” for being human? How do we even translate the concepts of good and evil into the language of zeroes and ones? Could Shakespeare and Tolstoy help? How does AI intersect with issues of race, gender, aging and our future histories? How do old and new fictions about robots and automatons affect and reflect our way of thinking about AI in the 21st century? If superintelligent machines will be capable of human-level performance on the full range of tasks that are often thought to be uniquely human capacities, including general intelligence and moral reasoning, how will this impact on the way in which we conceive of ourselves? Will this translate into a radical end to human exceptionalism? Or, rather, will this force us to conclude that the most profound essence of our human nature lies in our fallibility? Will AI teach us that imperfection is what makes us human?

This salon took place on April, 3rd, 2018.

Speakers

Reading Resources

AI: SOME FACTS

Artificial Intelligence Fact Sheet, Content Science Review (10.14.2017)

Fukuda, Toshio, and Dario, Paolo, Humanoid robotics—History, current state of the art, and challenges, Science Robotics, vol.2, no13, pp.92-102 (12.20.2017) [sorry about the firewall]

Gillespie, Tarleton and Seaver, Nick, Critical Algorithm Studies: a Reading List, Social Media Collective (12.15.2016)

Paglen, Trevor, Invisible Images (Your Pictures Are Looking at You), The New Inquiry (12.08.2016)

FRIEND OR FOE?

Burt, Andrew, Leave A.I. Alone, The New York Times (01.04.2018)

Gibbs, Samuel, Elon Musk: artificial intelligence is our biggest existential threat, The Guardian (10.27.2014)

Kurzweil, Ray, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Viking Press (1999)

Moscrop, David, Will Robots Set Us Free?, Boston Review (02.07.2018)

Shore, Matt, Future thinking: will artificial intelligence overtake humans?, The Guardian (12.30.2016)

Waters, Richard, Robots: friend or foe? Financial Times (05.06.2016)

AI & BEING HUMAN

Ayanna Howard Interview - Trust in Human-Robot/AI Interactions, Black in AI (02.12.2018)

The sci-fi geek urging us to question our relationships with intelligent machines, This Cambridge Life (02.22.2017)

Fukuyama, Francis, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, Picador (2002)

Haraway, Donna, A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century, in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, Routledge (1991)

Hovve, Julia, Tech-artists on sex bots and the alarming future of the female body, Indie (03.14.2018)

Lagay, Faith, Genetic Differences: Unfair or only Unfortunate?, Virtual Mentor, vol.3, no11 (November 2001)

Sandel, Michael, The Case Against Perfection, The Atlantic, vol.3, pp.51-62 (April 2004)

Sharon, Tamar, The Human Enhancement Debate: For, Against and from Human Nature, in Human Nature in an Age of Biotechnology: The Case for Mediated Posthumanism, Springer, ch.III (2013)

Weizenbaum, Joseph, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation, W H Freeman & Co (1976)

AI & ETHICS

Barthelmess, Ulrike and Furbach, Ulrich, Do We Need Asimov’s Laws?, MIT Technology Review (05.16.2014)

Glase, Daniel,Why we must teach morality to robots, The Guardian (02.26.2017)

Marcus, Gary, Teaching Robots To Be Moral, The New Yorker (03.12.2015)

Mitchell, Oliver, Healthcare’s regulatory AI conundrum, Robohub (05.14.2018)

Mullan, John, We need robots to have morals. Could Shakespeare and Austen help?, The Guardian (07.24.2017)

Nishant, Arora, Failures would bring AI-powered chatbots closer to humans: experts, YourStory (08.08.2017)

Riedl, Mark O. and Harrison, Brent, Using Stories to Teach Human Values to Artificial Agents, Association for the Advancement of Artificial (2015)

AI FOR (SOCIAL) GOOD

Abebe, Rediet, Computational Perspectives on Social Good and Access to Opportunity, Association for the Advancement of Artificial (2018)

Jackson, Tom, Can big data offer hope for Africa’s exasperated commuters?, The Guardian (10.07.2016)

Klein, JoAnna, Robotic Fish to Keep a Fishy Eye on the Health of the Oceans, The New York Times (03.21.2018)

Shetty, Salil, Artificial Intelligence for good, Amnesty International (06.09.2017)

AI & HEALTHCARE

Chong, Denise, Teach robots to be imperfect to keep ourselves human, The Straits Times (02.21.2016)

Johnson, Owen, Artificial intelligence could transform healthcare, but we need to accept it first, Robohub (08.19.2016)

Pontin, Jason, Danny Hillis talks about the real-world challenges of creating artificially intelligent machines, MIT Technology Review (11.01.2006)

THE GRIM SIDE OF AI

Angwin, Julia and Larson, Jeff, Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate, ProPublica (08.19.2017)

Buranyi, Stephen, Rise of the racist robots – how AI is learning all our worst impulses, The Guardian (08.08.2017)

Conger, Kate and Dell, Cameron, Google Is Helping the Pentagon Build AI for Drones, Gizmodo (03.06.2018)

Ghosh, Dipayan, Beware of A.I. in Social Media Advertising, The New York Times (03.26.2018)

Gleisner, Jacquelyn, Robots, Race, and Algorithms: Stephanie Dinkins at Recess Assembly, Art21 (11.07.2017)

ARTSY AI

Aguera y Arcas, Blaise, Art in the Age of Machine Intelligence, AMI (02.23.2016)

Cascone, Sarah, Robot Artist Weaves a Stunning Web at Victoria and Albert Museum, Artnet’s news (05.19.2016)

Ings, Simon, Hello, Robot: The show that braves the future, New Scientist (05.31.2017)

Khan, Nore, Towards a Poetics of Artificial Superintelligence, After Us (09.25.2015)

Kraus, Rachel, Of course Parisian Google is developing AI experiments for the art world, Mashable (07.03.2018)

Nakazawa, Hideki, Waiting For the Robot Rembrandt: What needs to happen for artificial intelligence to make fine art, Nautilus (02.15.2018)

Owano, Nancy, Google and MoMA collaboration enlivens modern art connections, Tech Xplore (03.13.2018)

Richards, Julian, Art tries to pass the Turing test, New Scientist (02.23.2016)

Schlossman, David, The Politics and Poetics of Robotic Performance, A Journal of Performance and Art, vol.30, no2, pp. 83-87 (May, 2008)

Statt, Nick, Google’s AI Duet lets you make music with a virtual pianist, The Verge (16.02.2017)

THE BANALITY OF AI

Hito Steyerl and Kate Crawford on stupid AI and the value of comradeship, e-flux (01.27.2017)

Crawford, Kate and Steyerl, Hito, Data Streams, The New Inquiry (01.23.2017)

Hatice, Gune and Price, Huw, Robots can go all the way to Mars, but they can’t pick up the groceries, Horizons (February 2018)

Media Dish, Pensive deviled eggs? Irate gazpacho?, Los Angeles Times (08.15.2007)

Singh, Push, Barry, Barbara and Liu, Hugo, Teaching machines about everyday life, BT Technology Journal, vol.22, no4 (October 2004)

Shane, Janelle, Do neural nets dream of electric sheep?, aiweirdness (03.07.2018)

Stegman, Casey, What Plato has taught me about artificial intelligence, Medium (31.01.2017)

WATCH

Columbus, Chris, Bicentennial Man, Buena Vista Pictures (1999)

Garland, Alex, Ex Machina, Universal Pictures (2015)

Jones, Duncan, Moon, Sony Pictures Classics (2009)

Jonze, Spike, Her, Warner Bros (2013)

Lang, Fritz, Metropolis, UFA (1927)

Spielberg, Steven, AI, Warner Bros (2001)

Wachowski, Lilly and Wachowski, Lana (as the Wachowski Brothers), The Matrix, Warner Bros (1999)

PLAYFUL AI

Why AI researchers like video games, The Economist (05.13.201)

Dockrill, Peter, In Just 4 Hours, Google’s AI Mastered All The Chess Knowledge in History, ScienceAlert (12.07.2017)

Kojima, Hideo, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001)

Parkin, Simon, AI Is Dreaming Up New Kinds of Video Games, MIT Technology Review (11.29.2017)