We know that AI-powered cyber-physical systems (CPS) will scale in society. The challenge we face now is how we do that responsibly and sustainably? If we act proactively, we can avoid some of the negative impacts we have seen during other technological leaps. We need to start creating now for that future 30 years hence, when we are completely embedded in both a digital and physical environment, and are experiencing a climate unrecognisable from the climate of today [...] for a future characterised by economic prosperity, social equality and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability."
Fluxus Landscape is an art and research project created in partnership with the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University and Şerife Wong with support from the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. The project lends a nuanced perspective to a rapidly growing and complex field. Users are encouraged to edit and build upon the work. Research meets art.
D&S researchers Madeleine Clare Elish and Tim Hwang discuss the social challenges of AI in their collection of essays, An AI Pattern Language.
From the authors:
How are practitioners grappling with the social impacts of AI systems?
In an AI Pattern Language, we present a taxonomy of social challenges that emerged from interviews with a range of practitioners working in the intelligent systems and AI industry. In the book, we describe these challenges and articulate an array of patterns that practitioners have developed in response. You can find a preview of the patterns on this page, and you’ll find more context, information, and analysis in the full text.
The inspirational frame (and title) for this project has been the unique collection of architectural theory by Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language (1977). For Alexander, the central problem is the built environment. While our goal here is not as grand as the city planner, we took inspiration from the values of equity and mutual responsibility, as well as the accessible form, found in A Pattern Language. Like Alexander’s patterns, our document attempts to develop a common language of problems and potential solutions that appear in different contexts and at different scales of intervention.
While we believe the views we present are significant and widely held, these patterns are neither comprehensive nor proscriptive. Rather, this document is an experiment in cataloguing and catalyzing. AI is not out of our control, and an AI Pattern Language calls attention to the ways in which humans make choices about the development and deployment of technology. This text was created in the spirit not of an answer, but of a question: how can we design the technological future in which we want to live?
Elish, Madeleine Clare, and Tim Hwang. "An AI Pattern Language." Data & Society, September 29, 2016.
The airplane offered a potent symbol of man’s innovative thrust into the future. In the 1920s, artists depicted the airplane in canvases that, while creating quite different visual impressions, reflected the shared drive to depict the modern.
Civil War scholars and environmental historians have not so much debated as ignored each other. Environmental works on the South are few and fewer still directly address the war. A consciously ecological view of the Civil War is actually required, I think, for two compelling reasons. FIRST: the environmental movement itself. Since World War II and especially since 1970 and the first Earth Day, Americans have belonged to a culture steeped in ecological language and politics. Everyone understands that humans are connected creatures, obligated partners in a dynamic natural community. Nature sometimes presents change without human agency, but human action—making civilizations, technology, warfare—has enormous consequences. SECOND: the knowledge of war as an ecological disaster. No one alive at the dawn of the twenty-first century, from the oldest among us to our most immature students, can conceive of war without environmental danger if not disaster.
From heartwarming fantasies to futuristic thrillers, anime often explores worlds completely different from our own through relatable characters and themes. Feast your imagination on these films and series filled with magic and machinery, action and adventure, spells and science.
In this short video, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns recalls having Robert Penn Warren read a passage from his novel All the King’s Men during the production of the Huey Long portion of his documentary series “Ken Burns’ America.” He notes that it is voices like Warren’s that have helped animate his work, bringing to life his own journey and that which he has tried to share through his films.
For Burns, this particular passage from All the King’s Men—about dirt, creation, and man’s place and purpose on Earth—is a “wonderfully existential statement” that excavates the “emotional archaeology” of humanity. Warren’s writing serves as a compass that can help navigate what Burns calls “the specific gravity of our own self-destructive impulses.” In spite of the diverse range of his film topics, they are all united by a simple question: as Americans, who are we?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is arguably the driving technological force of the first half of this century, and will transform virtually every industry, if not human endeavors at large. Businesses and governments worldwide are pouring enormous sums of money into a very wide array of implementations, and dozens of start-ups are being funded to the tune of billions of dollars.
It would be naive to think that AI will not have an impact on education—au contraire, the possibilities there are profound yet, for the time being, overhyped as well. This book attempts to provide the right balance between reality and hype, between true potential and wild extrapolations. Every new technology undergoes a period of intense growth of reputation and expectations, followed by a precipitous fall when it inevitably fails to live up to the
expectations, after which there is a slower growth as the technology is developed and integrated into our lives.
Holmes, Wayne, Maya Bialik, and Charles Fadel. Artificial Intelligence In Education: Promises and Implications for Teaching and Learning. Center for Curriculum Redesign, 2019.
"It was an exciting discovery when I read Condiciones Extremas by Juan B. Gutiérrez. Beyond the outstanding quality of the content, this digital novel also impressed me with its use of innovative technology. New technology has always amazed me. In this case innovation in literature with AI (artificial intelligence), immediately called my attention." Aesthetics, Art, Graduate Students, Music Appreciation, Joanna Newsom, Poetry, Self-Realization
"It was an exciting discovery when I read Condiciones Extremas by Juan B. Gutiérrez. Beyond the outstanding quality of the content, this digital novel also impressed me with its use of innovative technology. New technology has always amazed me. In this case innovation in literature with AI (artificial intelligence), immediately called my attention." This Humanities Moment was collected as part of the 2021 Graduate Student Summer Residency Program.
Imagine a classroom in the future where teachers are working alongside artificial intelligence partners to ensure no student gets left behind.
The AI partner’s careful monitoring picks up on a student in the back who has been quiet and still for the whole class and the AI partner prompts the teacher to engage the student. When called on, the student asks a question. The teacher clarifies the material that has been presented and every student comes away with a better understanding of the lesson.
This is part of a larger vision of future classrooms where human instruction and AI technology interact to improve educational environments and the learning experience.
Venell, Tessa. "Artificial Intelligence and the Classroom of the Future." BrandeisNOW, November 19, 2020.
Existing and emerging technologies can help save teacher time—time that could be redirected toward student learning. But to capture the potential, stakeholders need to address four imperatives.
Bryant, Jake, Christine Heitz, Saurabh Sanghvi, and Dilip Wagle. "Artificial Intelligence in Education: How Will it Impact K-12 Teachers?" McKinsey & Company, January 14, 2020.
The average American produces four and a half pounds of trash every single day, and, as a whole, the U.S. generates nearly a quarter of a billion tons of garbage each year. Yet one person’s trash is another’s treasure. For instance, entire television channels are devoted to hoarders, and artists around the world craft “garbage art” from found materials. So what can we learn about ourselves from what we discard and what we keep? What stories are contained in the detritus of contemporary life?
National Humanities Center Fellow Stephanie Foote, Jackson and Nichols Professor of English at West Virginia University, is beginning to answer these questions. In this podcast, she discusses her current work on the “art of garbage” and the intersections of consumer culture, the global economy, and the environment. Foote also speculates about how contemporary literature (such as the emergence of “climate fiction”) mediates the presence of planetary waste. In one form or another, whether celebrated or spurned, garbage, it turns out, is always with us.
Students will explore their interests and goals to share with a broader audience. An autobiographical video allows middle school students an opportunity to present themselves to adults and peers. Speaking to an audience of adults and peers is one of the key interpersonal skills that we would like students to develop.
The banjo links disparate musical and cultural traditions — from Africa to the Caribbean to the United States — and its history is deeply interwoven with the history of those places. In this podcast, host Robert Newman talks with Laurent Dubois about this history and his book, The Banjo: America’s African Instrument, published earlier this year by Harvard University Press.
Laurent Dubois is professor of history and romance studies and faculty director of the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University. He is a specialist on the history and culture of the Atlantic world, with a focus on the Caribbean and particularly Haiti. His previous books include Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2012), Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (2010), Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004), and A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787–1804 (2004). Dubois worked on The Banjo: America’s African Instrument while he was a Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 2008–09. As a Fellow at the Center again this year, he is working on a biography of dancer, choreographer, and activist Katherine Dunham.
This webinar will focus on the production of a graphic history of the Civil War, emphasizing the challenges of representation when it comes to one of the most politically fraught chapters in the history of the United States.
Clip 1/4. This webinar will focus on the production of a graphic history of the Civil War, emphasizing the challenges of representation when it comes to one of the most politically fraught chapters in the history of the United States.
Clip 2/4. This webinar will focus on the production of a graphic history of the Civil War, emphasizing the challenges of representation when it comes to one of the most politically fraught chapters in the history of the United States.