Me/You/Us: The Ethics of Access, The Ethics of AI

Year: 2018

Author: Leong, Jacina, Knight, Linda

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Whilst the opportunity to use artificial intelligence to advance the human experience is within reach, these developments also raise several ethical issues around ‘algorithmic diversity’ to which we must attend (Clough et. al 2015). Algorithmic diversity promotes unbiased systems and is informed by diverse perspectives, however overlooking algorithmic diversity in the development of artificial intelligence, impedes the ability to produce systems that have the capacity to be respective and responsive to differences. What is the impact of this on society and how can creative experiments or interventions facilitate an understanding of plural vs universal experiences (Marres 2017)?
This academic essay addresses the challenges of multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in relation to a series of interventions undertaken at the Ars Electronica Festival that experimented with interrupting the interface. Educators and young children became disruptive coders of ‘bodied’ algorithms to consider alternative participations. During the interventions, participants modified and dulled their sensorial agents (hands, eyes, ears) to momentarily foreground a (visual, aural, verbal, physical) perspective different from their own to explore the problematics of universal notions of user experience when the body is altered. The interventions enabled adults and young children to reflect on alternative modalities for engaging with coding and programming as ‘curious amateurs’ to learn about the ethics of access and diverse perspectives.
The essay draws on Instagram posts as data collected during the Ars Electronica Festival. This Instagram data informs discussion on how smart machines might be inspired by diverse human perspectives, and reflects our own inputs (our culture and our ideologies) by exposing the socio-biological norms and conventions that are present in a highly experimental new media festival. The essay argues that pedagogical interventions are important to raise awareness or offer critical understandings of the norms that ironically can be the the starting point for technological innovations.
Clough, P.T., Gregory, K., Huber, B. & Scannell, R.J. (2015) The datalogical turn. In P. Vannini (Ed.) Non-Representational Methodologies: Re-Envisioning Research. New York: Routledge, 146-164
Marres, N. (2017) Digital Sociology: The Reinvention of Social Research. Cambridge: Polity Press.