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Our anxieties about what we can do with AI versus what we should do are reaching a fever pitch. While companies scramble to define what "AI ethics" means for them and citizens see algorithmic decision-making creeping into their daily experience, policymakers are facing tough choices about how to regulate this new computational wild west. Yet public dialogue about the future of AI seems to be stuck in a loop, repeating the same stories about killer robots, job-stealing AIs, and god-like super-machines. Is science fiction to blame for selling us simplistic visions of AI apocalypse? How can we make sure the stories we tell ourselves about intelligent machines will examine real-life challenges like data-based discrimination and privacy invasion, not just far-fetched threats like "Terminator" uprisings? What lessons can we learn about present-day policy conundrums from the rich history of AI in science fiction literature and film?
Future Tense and New America’s Open Technology Institute convened on May 7, 2019 for a discussion on sci-fi and AI with policy and tech experts, futurists, and science fiction authors—including Malka Older (Infomocracy, Null States), whose political science fiction novels were just nominated for the prestigious Hugo award for best sci-fi series.
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS, Kevin Bankston & Ed Finn
SOLO TALK: The Sci-Fi Feedback Loop, Kevin Bankston
PANEL: AI in Reality - AI experts will highlight the hottest issues in AI policy and ethics—and talk about how sci-fi has played Into those debates. Featuring Kevin Bankston, Director, New America’s Open Technology Institute; Miranda Bogen, Senior Policy Analyst, Upturn; Rumman Chowdhury, Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lead, Accenture; Elana Zeide, PULSE Fellow in Artificial Intelligence, Law & Policy at UCLA School of Law; and Lindsey Sheppard, Associate Fellow of the International Security Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies
SOLO TALK: How Sci-Fi Reflects Our AI Hopes and Fears, Kanta Dihal
Recorded Provocation, Madeline Ashby, futurist and science fiction author
PANEL: AI in Sci-Fi - Science fiction authors and researchers will survey how sci-fi TV, movies, and literature have treated the subject of AI throughout the years. Featuring Kanta Dihal, Postdoctoral Researcher, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence; Andrew Hudson, AI Policy Futures researcher, Arizona State University’s Center for Science & The Imagination, and science fiction author; Chris Noessel, Lead Designer for IBM’s Watson Customer Engagement, author, and keeper of scifiinterfaces.com; Lee Konstantinou, Associate Professor of English Literature at University of Maryland & science fiction author; and Damien Williams, Virginia Tech’s Department of Science, Technology, and Society.
SOLO TALK: Untold AI - What AI Stories Should We Be Telling Ourselves?, Chris Noessel
Recorded Provocation, Stephanie Dinkins, transdisciplinary artist and Professor, Stony Brook University
PANEL: Bridging AI Fact and Fiction - A mix of AI and sci-fi experts will discuss how we can better leverage sci-fi as a tool for thinking about the future of AI policy. Featuring Ed Finn, Director, Arizona State University’s Center for Science & The Imagination; Malka Older, Aid worker, sociologist, and science fiction author (Infomocracy, Null States, State Tectonics); Ashkan Soltani, Independent security and privacy researcher, former Chief Technologist of the Federal Trade Commission; Kristin Sharp, Director, New America’s Work, Workers & Technology; and Molly Wright Steenson,
Senior Associate Dean of Research in the College of Fine Arts and the K&L Gates Associate Professor of Ethics and Computational Technologies at Carnegie Mellon University
Closing remarks and provocations