Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: June 26, 2021, 10:37 a.m. Humanist 35.112 - an oppositional artificial intelligence?

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 112.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-06-26 09:29:25+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty <>
        Subject: a (crazy?) idea

I've been looking for developments towards what I am calling an
"oppositional artificial intelligence", that is, an artificial entity
that would respond to an articulated train of thought by derailing it in
such a way as possibly to be helpful, provocative, enlightening. I would
think this best done by striking a balance between the intrinsically
machinic and the recognisably human. Its objective would NOT be to 
imitate but to differ -- profoundly, perhaps, but intelligibly. It would 
(I am guessing) be somewhat like DeepMind's AlphaGo Zero 
(generating plays no human player has ever considered making) 
but beyond the constraints of the gameboard.

The closest approximations I have been able to find in current work are 
on 'generative adversarian nets', negotiation mechanisms, adversarial 
AI -- and IBM's Project Debater. Observations on the embodied nature 
of conversation notwithstanding, it seems to me that talking with a
distinctly otherwise-embodied machine would be part of the attraction.

Comments? Suggestions?

Willard McCarty,
Professor emeritus, King's College London;
Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

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