Feel the pain

Emotional decision making is in many contexts undesirable – but sometimes it definitely needs to be part of the picture, insofar as our emotions hold a mirror to our morals. When machines make decisions, the opportunity to consider the emotional input goes away. This is a recurring concern I’m hearing about from people working with … Read more

The AI trust deficit predates AI

There are alien minds among us. Not the little green men of science fiction, but the alien minds that power the facial recognition in your smartphone, determine your creditworthiness and write poetry and computer code. These alien minds are artificial intelligence systems, the ghost in the machine that you encounter daily. But AI systems have … Read more

Why everyone should pay attention to Stable Diffusion

Many of the people in my circles hadn’t heard of Stable Diffusion until I told them, and I was already two days late. Heralds of new technologies have a tendency to play up every new thing, however incremental, as the dawn of a new revolution – but in this case, their cries of wolf may … Read more

Injustice ex machina

There are some things I think about but struggle to articulate, especially in the heat of an argument with a friend. Cory Doctorow succinctly captures one such idea here: Empiricism-washing is the top ideological dirty trick of technocrats everywhere: they assert that the data “doesn’t lie,” and thus all policy prescriptions based on data can … Read more

The climate and the A.I.

A few days ago, the New York Times and other major international publications sounded the alarm over a new study that claimed various coastal cities around the world would be underwater to different degrees by 2050. However, something seemed off; it couldn’t have been straightforward for the authors of the study to plot how much … Read more