Attended a Science Fiction Writers Convention recently (Pemmi-con). The conventions bring technical people and scientist together to talk with SF writers on a variety of topics to stimulate thoughts of the future. As you can guess AI was a big topic. Found myself on a panel : The Impact of AI on Minorities.
My fellow panelist were writers, and political activist - and they wanted to focus on the human element, and I think that I came off to technical, and perhaps not worried enough about the negative impacts on people.
Some how I didn’t convey my agreement with that view point well enough, but sometimes it is hard to put new concepts into normal language. So here is an attempt to forward the dialog, now that I am not on a stage, and can think through my answers.
So I’ve been talking about the possible impacts of all the different types of AI on real people. And a lot of the negatives came down to the threat to a person’s digital identity. People should be able to control their own id, not be exploited, stolen or impersonated. Intuitively I think people know this, but we haven’t really as a culture really started to explore that our sense of self has expanded in the digital age, and how damaging loss of control of our identity can be… since I’ve been struggling with how to explain this to non-technical people at talks on AI, I’ve since come across Cameron’s paper “The laws of Identity” and the concept of Self-Sovereign Identity , true identity security at the computer level will only come about if we believe, program and legislate the ideal that the user(People) should have control over their digital identities. Cameron’s paper states that we should view SSI as an inalienable right, that it can’t be transferred, taken away, given away, or denied. That is needs to be a sovereign focus for legal, and programming purposes, which would impact how AI algorithms would be designed, and impact the selling of information. The right to choose how we present ourselves to the world should be inalienable. Otherwise we are at the mercy of various administrative regimes (programming/social media/AI) usages that we voluntarily/or non-voluntarily interact with..
The rest of his paper is technical, but it is worth the read, since everything derives from the point of view of SSI.
I really do want to focus the conversation on AI’s around people and try to translate what is going on, how it impacts in the world. Personally, I am actually really positive on what good AI’s could do, but we have a poor track record on not misusing technology, or leaving some groups out in the cold. Putting into place the concept of SSI – would fix a lot of those concerns.
Love going to SF conventions and talking about the latest in Computer technology and its impact on society. This chance to explore what it means to be human in an AI world was fantastic!