Note — Mar 07, 2021

Blueprints of Intelligence

Seen in → No.163

Source →

I won’t add much to this short piece other than it’s an intriguing question. Can AI development be better understood / influenced by outsiders (i.e. other fields and activists) through the investigation of the technical diagrams it uses, instead or in addition to the fiction and marketing visuals around them?

If there is a picture of contemporary artificial intelligence, I’d argue it is here: in neural network architecture diagrams. I am less concerned with what a diagram might tell a researcher than with the connections between visual representations of neural networks and AI researchers’ conception of cognition. […]

Instead of projecting onto a metal humanoid, a poetic reading of metaphor and symbolism in AI diagrams prompts us to consider how their creators think about cognition. This may lead to more productive conversations about the risks and opportunities of artificial intelligence research than we could have amid sci-fi tropes.