Imagine A World: What if AI advisors helped us make better decisions?
Are we doomed to a future of loneliness and unfulfilling online interactions? What if technology made us feel more connected instead?
Imagine a World is a podcast exploring a range of plausible and positive futures with advanced AI, produced by the Future of Life Institute. We interview the creators of 8 diverse and thought provoking imagined futures that we received as part of the worldbuilding contest FLI ran last year
In the eighth and final episode of Imagine A World we explore the fictional worldbuild titled 'Computing Counsel', one of the third place winners of FLI’s worldbuilding contest.
Guillaume Riesen talks to Mark L, one of the three members of the team behind 'Computing Counsel', a third-place winner of the FLI Worldbuilding Contest. Mark is a machine learning expert with a chemical engineering degree, as well as an amateur writer. His teammates are Patrick B, a mechanical engineer and graphic designer, and Natalia C, a biological anthropologist and amateur programmer.
This world paints a vivid, nuanced picture of how emerging technologies shape society. We have advertisers competing with ad-filtering technologies and an escalating arms race that eventually puts an end to the internet as we know it. There is AI-generated art so personalized that it becomes addictive to some consumers, while others boycott media technologies altogether. And corporations begin to throw each other under the bus in an effort to redistribute the wealth of their competitors to their own customers.
While these conflicts are messy, they generally end up empowering and enriching the lives of the people in this world. New kinds of AI systems give them better data, better advice, and eventually the opportunity for genuine relationships with the beings these tools have become. The impact of any technology on society is complex and multifaceted. This world does a great job of capturing that.
While social networking technologies become ever more powerful, the networks of people they connect don't necessarily just get wider and shallower. Instead, they tend to be smaller and more intimately interconnected. The world's inhabitants also have nuanced attitudes towards A.I. tools, embracing or avoiding their applications based on their religious or philosophical beliefs.
Please note: This episode explores the ideas created as part of FLI’s worldbuilding contest, and our hope is that this series sparks discussion about the kinds of futures we want. The ideas present in these imagined worlds and in our podcast are not to be taken as FLI endorsed positions.
Explore this worldbuild: https://worldbuild.ai/computing-counsel
The podcast is produced by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), a non-profit dedicated to guiding transformative technologies for humanity's benefit and reducing existential risks. To achieve this we engage in policy advocacy, grantmaking and educational outreach across three major areas: artificial intelligence, nuclear weapons, and biotechnology. If you are a storyteller, FLI can support you with scientific insights and help you understand the incredible narrative potential of these world-changing technologies. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in collaborating with the teams featured in our episodes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find more about our work at www.futureoflife.org, or subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on all our projects.
Media and Concepts referenced in the episode:
Corpus Callosum - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_callosum
Eliezer Yudkowsky on ‘Superstimulation’ - https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/Jq73GozjsuhdwMLEG/superstimuli-and-the-collapse-of-western-civilization
Universal culture - https://slatestarcodex.com/2016/07/25/how-the-west-was-won/
Max Harms’ Crystal Trilogy - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28678856-crystal-society
Kim Stanley Robinson - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Stanley_Robinson