petej + artificialintelligence   109

“What Have We Done?”: Silicon Valley Engineers Fear They've Created a Monster | Vanity Fair
Yet even as we roundly condemned the tech world’s treatment of a vulnerable new class of worker, we knew the stakes were much higher: high enough to alter the future of work itself, to the detriment of all but a select few. “Most people,” I said, interrupting the hubbub, “don’t even see the problem unless they’re on the inside.” Everyone nodded. The risk, we agreed, is that the gig economy will become the only economy, swallowing up entire groups of employees who hold full-time jobs, and that it will, eventually, displace us all. The bigger risk, however, is that the only people who understand the looming threat are the ones enabling it.
gigEconomy  Uber  Instacart  work  labour  exploitation  employment  algorithms  SiliconValley  artificialIntelligence 
august 2018 by petej
Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear
There’s a saying, popularized by Fredric Jameson, that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. It’s no surprise that Silicon Valley capitalists don’t want to think about capitalism ending. What’s unexpected is that the way they envision the world ending is through a form of unchecked capitalism, disguised as a superintelligent AI. They have unconsciously created a devil in their own image, a boogeyman whose excesses are precisely their own.

Which brings us back to the importance of insight. Sometimes insight arises spontaneously, but many times it doesn’t. People often get carried away in pursuit of some goal, and they may not realize it until it’s pointed out to them, either by their friends and family or by their therapists. Listening to wake-up calls of this sort is considered a sign of mental health.

We need for the machines to wake up, not in the sense of computers becoming self-aware, but in the sense of corporations recognizing the consequences of their behavior. Just as a superintelligent AI ought to realize that covering the planet in strawberry fields isn’t actually in its or anyone else’s best interests, companies in Silicon Valley need to realize that increasing market share isn’t a good reason to ignore all other considerations. Individuals often reevaluate their priorities after experiencing a personal wake-up call. What we need is for companies to do the same — not to abandon capitalism completely, just to rethink the way they practice it. We need them to behave better than the AIs they fear and demonstrate a capacity for insight.
SiliconValley  technology  artificialIntelligence  culture  capitalism  hubris  regulation  libertarianism 
december 2017 by petej
Facebook’s war on free will | Technology | The Guardian
The engineering mindset has little patience for the fetishisation of words and images, for the mystique of art, for moral complexity or emotional expression. It views humans as data, components of systems, abstractions. That’s why Facebook has so few qualms about performing rampant experiments on its users. The whole effort is to make human beings predictable – to anticipate their behaviour, which makes them easier to manipulate. With this sort of cold-blooded thinking, so divorced from the contingency and mystery of human life, it’s easy to see how long-standing values begin to seem like an annoyance – why a concept such as privacy would carry so little weight in the engineer’s calculus, why the inefficiencies of publishing and journalism seem so imminently disruptable.

Facebook would never put it this way, but algorithms are meant to erode free will, to relieve humans of the burden of choosing, to nudge them in the right direction. Algorithms fuel a sense of omnipotence, the condescending belief that our behaviour can be altered, without our even being aware of the hand guiding us, in a superior direction. That’s always been a danger of the engineering mindset, as it moves beyond its roots in building inanimate stuff and begins to design a more perfect social world. We are the screws and rivets in the grand design.
Facebook  algorithms  artificialIntelligence  surveillance  control  nudge  ZuckerbergMark  hacking  openness  transparency  behaviour  identity  digitalIdentity  multiplicity  engineering  politics  USA  SiliconValley  manipulation  power  dctagged  dc:creator=FoerFranklin 
september 2017 by petej
Radical Technologies by Adam Greenfield review – luxury communism, anyone? | Books | The Guardian
What seem to be potentially anarchic, liberating technologies are highly vulnerable to capture and recuperation by existing power structures – just as were dissident pop-culture movements such as punk. Greenfield makes this point with particular force when discussing automated “smart contracts” and the technology of the blockchain, a kind of distributed ledger that underlies the bitcoin currency but could be used for many more things besides. “Despite the insurgent glamour that clings to it still,” he points out, “blockchain technology enables the realisation of some very long-standing desires on the part of very powerful institutions.” Much as he scorns the authoritarian uses of new technology, he also wants to warn progressives against technological utopianism. “Activists on the participatory left are just as easily captivated by technological hype as anyone else, especially when that hype is couched in superficially appealing language.”
technology  automation  artificialIntelligence 
july 2017 by petej
Two Decades of Recommender Systems at
This is a vision where intelligence is everywhere. Every interaction should reflect who you are and what you like, and help you find what other people like you have already discovered. It should feel hollow and pathetic when you see something that's obviously not you; do you not know me by now?

Getting to this point requires a new way of thinking about recommendations. There shouldn't be recommendation features and recommendation engines. Instead, understanding you, others, and what's available should be part of every interaction.

Recommendations and personalization live in the sea of data we all create as we move through the world, including what we find, what we discover, and what we love. We're convinced the future of recommendations will further build on intelligent computer algorithms leveraging collective human intelligence. The future will continue to be computers helping people help other people.
Amazon  algorithms  personalisation  artificialIntelligence  recommendations 
july 2017 by petej
Ethics for the AI Age // Speaker Deck
Disregarding the politics of our work is itself a political act
technology  Internet  automation  AI  ethics  artificialIntelligence 
february 2017 by petej
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