“Open the ethics textbook Hal”

Machines that learn need careful teaching

Marnie Hughes Warrington speaks tonight at Uni Newcastle’s AI and the future of humanity event, exploring ideas for her present essay series and future book on how the humanities can apply artificial intelligence.

It’s the latter which is easy, but in error to ignore, she argues in a new consideration of how natural language for AI is created – it’s not value-free and it is, for good and ill, very human.

“My aim is simply to humanise the language learning of machines in ways that escape the routine treatment of computer scientists as blameworthy creators. After all, the clumsiness, oversight and even hate of machines is our human clumsiness, our human oversight, and our human hate,” she writes in a new essay coinciding with her Newcastle address.

And for all the bright promise of machines that can speak to us, or for us, AI is a world of “accident and unintended consequences.”

Which can be countered by humanising AI.  “This is not just about seeing machines as human, but about acknowledging that they are what more of us can make them. And that making—training—is the patient to and fro of history making.”

Professor Hughes Warrington is a panellist at the University of Newcastle discussion, AI and the future of humanity, Newcastle City Hall, 4pm today


to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education