[SIGCIS-Members] Some suggestions on the early history of the ethics of AI

James Sumner james.sumner at manchester.ac.uk
Mon Apr 23 07:14:47 PDT 2018


Dear Debbie

I teach an undergrad survey course designed to be accessible to non-CS 
students. For some years I used, as my main required reading to support 
the class on AI history, Chapter 5 of Daniel Crevier's /AI: the 
Tumultuous History of the Search for Artificial Intelligence/ (1993) – 
not an academic text, but I found it to be at just the right level for 
the points I was trying to put across about early challenges to the 
effectiveness or advisability of AI implementation, with particular 
attention to Dreyfus and to Weizenbaum.

I also demonstrate ELIZA in class, and would agree with Kevin that it's 
an excellent way into exploration of the issues, and one that students 
at all levels of experience can get something out of.

All best
James


On 23/04/2018 14:05, Kevin Driscoll wrote:
> Dear Debbie,
>
> I've found that some familiarity with the ELIZA chatbot is helpful for 
> students learning about the history of AI. ELIZA appears often in 
> later literature and provides a generative starting point for thinking 
> about the social and political consequences of AI in society.
>
> In a media studies course about programming, I ask students to compare 
> passages from Weizenbaum's 1966 paper and 1976 follow-up book:
> - Weizenbaum, J. (1966). ELIZA: A Computer Program for the Study of 
> Natural Language Communication Between Man and Machine. Commun. ACM, 
> 9(1), 36–45. https://doi.org/10.1145/365153.365168
> - Weizenbaum, J. (1976). Computer Power and Human Reason: From 
> Judgment to Calculation (1st edition). San Francisco: W H Freeman & Co.
>
> There are also lots of ELIZAs living on the web for them to play with, 
> e.g.:
> - http://www.masswerk.at/elizabot/
> - 
> https://www.smallsurething.com/implementing-the-famous-eliza-chatbot-in-python/
>
> Plus, the racist meltdown of Microsoft's Tay in 2016 offers an 
> extension into the present:
> - https://www.theverge.com/2016/3/24/11297050/tay-microsoft-chatbot-racist
>
> Best of luck to you and your student!
>
> Kevin Driscoll
> University of Virginia
>
>
>
> On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 3:55 AM, Alberts, Gerard <g.alberts at uva.nl 
> <mailto:g.alberts at uva.nl>> wrote:
>
>     Dear Deborah,
>     The crucial book is Hubert L. Dreyfus, /What computers still can't
>     do. A critique of artificial reason/ (MIT, 1972. 1992). /The
>     original What computers can't do/, is basically a philosophical
>     argumentation. The revised edition has an ample introduction
>     offering a most readible historical view of the debate as it evolved.
>     AI from its very inception in the 1950s has been accompanied with
>     debates. These debates may have been different in Europe from the
>     US; just like the automation debate in the 1950s was predominantly
>     a socio-economic debate in the US, and when it landed in Europe it
>     had turned into a cultural debate.
>     Our colleague Dick van Lente (University of Rotterdam) published
>     on these issues.
>
>     I do read Dreyfus with graduate students. For undergraduates I
>     find J. David Bolter, /Turing's man/ (from 1984!) still very
>     readible. To students in CS or AI it will always serve as an
>     eye-opener to the worldviews implicit in their discipline - which
>     to me is the key element of an ethical reflection course.
>     Kind regards,
>     Gerard Alberts, University of Amsterdam
>
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *Van:* Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org
>     <mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org>] namens Deborah Douglas
>     [ddouglas at mit.edu <mailto:ddouglas at mit.edu>]
>     *Verzonden:* maandag 23 april 2018 3:21
>     *Aan:* members
>     *Onderwerp:* [SIGCIS-Members] Some suggestions on the early
>     history of the ethics of AI
>
>     I am appealing to the collective for some quick recommendations to
>     help one of my undergraduates interested in the early history of
>     ethics and artificial intelligence.  What sorts of articles or
>     books have others used in their classes with undergraduates to
>     help them understand the key issues and concerns?
>
>     Many thanks,
>
>     Debbie Douglas
>
>     *Deborah G. Douglas, PhD* • Director of Collections and Curator of
>     Science and Technology, MIT Museum, Room N51-209
>     • 265 Massachusetts Avenue • Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 •
>     http://web.mit.edu/museum  • http://museum.mit.edu/150 •
>     ddouglas at mit.edu <mailto:ddouglas at mit.edu> •  617-253-1766 phone
>      •  617-253-8994 fax
>
>
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