[SIGCIS-Members] Call for proposals: A New AI Lexicon

James Cortada jcortada at umn.edu
Sat Jan 16 07:28:20 PST 2021

I want to climb onto Bill Aspray's points.  Back in the "good old days" of
early AI, mimicking the brain as a metaphor or objective suggested that
work on AI in multiple disciplines was anthropomorphic, hence why it was
called *artificial* as opposed to human intelligence which was seen as
*real.*  Brain scientists study the brain as psychology and biology, but as
Bill suggests, those who are using what is called AI today are not wedded
to the anthropomorphic paradygm, nor did they realistically ever adhere to
it.  The history of rules-based computing, followed by "expert systems,"
then learning software, "cognitive computing," etc. is the story of a
different path taken.  In time, the history of AI will be seen as a tale of
many paths taken and that even its name may be misleading, if not
inappropriate.  I say it's too early to tell, but then the subject is not
in my wheelhouse IMHO.  Love the topic, however--keep pushing the
boundaries.  Jim

On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 9:18 AM McMillan, William W <
william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu> wrote:

> Hi, Joy.
> Thanks for posting this announcement.
> In considering concepts, metaphors, and terms used in AI, I wonder if it
> would also be useful to address WHY different people and organizations
> pursue AI (and maybe you and your colleagues do already).
> I found this helpful in teaching AI courses.  You'll see people casually
> say things like "The purpose of AI is to understand the human mind."
> But this isn't the goal of applied AI at, say, Amazon, when they suggest I
> buy a nice Cross pen because I recently bought a nice Parker pen.  They
> aren't interested in my mind at all, and don't care if they model how I
> think.  They just want to sell a pen.
> In contrast, a philosopher or mathematician working in AI might be
> interested in what is theoretically or practically computable in complex
> reasoning tasks.
> A biologist might look at AI to get ideas for the study of birds' flocking
> behavior.
> A psychologist might consider automated techniques employed in visual
> pattern recognition to get ideas about how the human visual system works.
> I found that without considering goals or motivation to pursue AI, simply
> defining the field was pretty hopeless.  Terms and metaphors can vary quite
> a bit, depending on the AI researcher's goals and discipline (and also on
> the time period during which the work is done).
> Not sure if this is that relevant to your pursuits, but FWIW...
> Regards,
> Bill
> ________________________________
> From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] on behalf of Dr. Joy
> Lisi Rankin [drjoy at joyrankin.com]
> Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:00 PM
> To: Sigcis
> Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Call for proposals: A New AI Lexicon
> Hello SIGCIS,
> I'm excited to share that my colleagues at AI Now, Noopur Raval and Amba
> Kak, have launched the project: A New AI Lexicon: Responses and Challenges
> to the Critical AI Discourse<
> https://medium.com/a-new-ai-lexicon/a-new-ai-lexicon-responses-and-challenges-to-the-critical-ai-discourse-f2275989fa62>.
> The projects aims to expand and revise critical AI thinking by attending to
> global racial histories, diverse queer movements, struggles of caste and
> tribe communities, and their specific place-based demands especially
> outside of the West. We need a more expansive stocktaking of race and
> gender relations as well as the variegated forms of marginalization
> globally.
> As part of this project, we are inviting short essays that address or
> challenge a dominant concept, metaphor, or keyword along which critical AI
> thinking is currently undertaken (like Fairness, Transparency,
> Accountability, Bias, Auditing, Ghost Labor, Explainability, Social Good
> etc.). Or  identify new terms or formulations currently  missing from the
> discourse.
> We encourage academics, activists, journalists and others, especially
> early career or junior colleagues researching global AI histories,
> materialities and futures to apply. We are able to offer financial support
> to a limited number of contributors, and the submission guidelines are
> available here:
> https://medium.com/a-new-ai-lexicon/a-new-ai-lexicon-responses-and-challenges-to-the-critical-ai-discourse-f2275989fa62
> If you have any questions, or know someone who would be a good fit for
> this project, please feel free to reach out to me, Noopur (
> noopur at ainowinstitute.org<mailto:noopur at ainowinstitute.org>) or Amba (
> amba at ainowinstitute.org<mailto:amba at ainowinstitute.org>).
> Thanks very much,
> Joy
> Joy Lisi Rankin | she/her/hers
> Research Lead for the Gender, Race, and Power in AI Program
> AI Now Institute<http://www.ainowinstitute.org/> @ NYU<
> https://www.nyu.edu/>
> Author: A People's History of Computing in the US<
> https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674970977>
> Recently: "Bodies into Bits<https://logicmag.io/care/bodies-into-bits/>"
> and "Whitewashing Tech<
> https://medium.com/@AINowInstitute/whitewashing-tech-why-the-erasures-of-the-past-matter-today-166d0d5e2789
> >"
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James W. Cortada
Senior Research Fellow
Charles Babbage Institute
University of Minnesota
jcortada at umn.edu
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