Category Archives: Artificial Intelligence

Short Story: Terms of Service by Timothy Yam

The Best Asian Speculative Fiction
Stephanie looked up at the corner of the kitchen. The dome was blinking again, but this time with a green light.

“No harm done.”

“I see you started cooking.”

Was that a hint of disapproval in her voice?

“Well yeah, I mean, I had no choice, you were taking longer than expected, and I just had to start first or else I would have no time before—”

“Stephanie, if you had waited, we could have saved eighteen minutes of preparation and cooking time. Furthermore, the spice level in your ayam buah keluak is too high for Sylvia Chan, and the amount of garlic too low for Siti Anissa.”

“How can it be too little garlic? I followed Mama’s recipe to the letter, the only thing I changed was to add sambal.”

“I tailor the recipe accordingly, depending on who you are cooking for. The taste preferences are shared with me by the Dianas of your guests.” Read more

‘The rise of AI would result in a huge split in the world,’ says historian Yuval Noah Harari

(From The Hindu. Link to the complete article given below)

In the light of his theories about the human future, when Yuval Noah Harari was asked what must politicians be questioned for before elections, he said, “Ask them what will they do to lessen the danger of nuclear war, climate change, regulate AI and bioengineering, and their vision humanity in for 2050,” he said. “And if they don’t answer but keep talking about the past, then don’t vote for them.”

Taking off from his latest book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018), which hit the shelves in August this year, Mr. Harari delivered the Penguin Annual Lecture 2018 in Mumbai on Sunday, titled ‘The New Challenges of the 21st Century’, during which he addressed topics of nationalism, ethical training, climate change, and the need for more philosophers.

To say that Harari’s last three books have been a global success would be an understatement. The author of 2014 bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (translated in 45 languages and sold more than a million copies worldwide), Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016)and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018), has been endorsed by Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and referred to as the “guru of the liberal elites” by the media. In a roundtable interaction with the press before delivering the lecture, the Israeli historian declared that he neither has political skills nor are his books about the immediate politics of any country. “I can’t give particular political advice to any government or how to implement policies,” he said. “But what I try to do is influence the macro agenda of various nations and humanity as a whole.”

One can’t talk about Mr. Harari’s work without contextualising it in today’s socio-political reality — be it his arguments about race, genocide, war, sexuality or artificial intelligence.

Read more at The Hindu link here

News: Apply now – Speculative fiction writing workshop on AI futures

From Digital Asia Hub

We’re thrilled to announce a 2-day event, aimed at generating ideas and pieces that explore the present and future of artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies. Apply to join us!

Part of Digital Asia Hub’s ongoing series exploring “AI in Asia”, this regional workshop is supported by the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative, a joint project of the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society. It incubates a range of research, prototyping, and advocacy activities within these two anchor institutions and across the broader ecosystem of civil society.

The deadline for applications is 12 p.m on 5th December (Singapore time).

Background: Our goal is to expand current thinking around AI and related technologies. AI continues to develop rapidly. More and more we see the use of algorithmic, automated, and autonomous systems. These technologies are poised to have significant effects on people who did not participate in their creation—in some cases they’re already having such effects. We need more voices, minds, and experiences to articulate both real presents and possible futures.

For this project, we focus less on spectacles of utopia or dystopia and more on lived experience, relationship, and community. Of course, everyday life happens within complex social systems shaped by larger institutions of politics and commerce, so we’ll be speculating across scales. We expect this to be a very generative process—we’re excited to see where our collective imagination takes us!

Approach: The weekend’s sessions will be structured around speculative prompts and group work. We will write individually and collaboratively, in an environment of mutual respect and generosity of spirit. Drawing on the book sprint model, by the end of the weekend we expect to have finished writing our volume. We are aiming to launch the volume in early 2019, and have a design and production lined up to help us get there.

You don’t have to identify as a writer to participate. You don’t have to have previously participated in a book sprint. You don’t have to be a specialist in AI technologies. We’re seeking a variety of perspectives and a variety of levels of familiarity with technology, AI and otherwise. We’re seeking people who are excited to think creatively, critically, and collaboratively about the role of technology in human lives. We’re seeking people excited to engage in some serious play.

To apply: Submit your application online using this form. Successful applicants will be notified by 8th December.

The workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Amy Johnson and the Digital Asia Hub team. We are grateful to have the Jacaranda Agency as an event partner and collaborator.

About Amy Johnson:

Amy Johnson explores the use of speculative techniques in writing, research, teaching, and advocacy. A linguistic anthropologist and scholar of science, technology, and society (STS), Dr. Johnson is currently a research fellow at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College, United States and a research affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University, United States. Her research examines digital play, language politics, and government use of social media. She is a published writer of both fiction and nonfiction, and her screenplays have been honored in multiple international competitions. She received her PhD from MIT in 2017.

About Digital Asia Hub:

The Digital Asia Hub is an independent, non-profit Internet and society research think tank based in Hong Kong. Incubated by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and a diverse group of academic, civil society, and private sector partners, the Hub provides a non-partisan, open, and collaborative platform for research, knowledge sharing and capacity building related to Internet and Society issues with focus on digital Asia. The Hub also aims to strengthen effective multi- stakeholder discourse, with both local and regional activities, and will contribute to – and itself serve as a node of – a larger network of academic organizations: the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers (the “NoC”).