This handout picture collected by a satellite of © 2019 Planet Labs, Inc on August 20, 2019 shows smoke and fires in Brazil’s state Para.

80 Days of Artificial Intelligence

Writing about AI while the Amazon is burning

Most people ask me why I write about artificial intelligence and others are just more interested in how. However I had a long article on the subject that was deleted by Medium, perhaps due to the vast amount of links at the end linking to all my 80 articles so far, so maybe you will never know?

No, I will of course do my best to write this article again.

Amazon or Amazon Inc?

The Amazon forest burning is no joke. It is one of the worst catastrophes of our time. The Brazilian president can be partly blamed, as well as corporate interest and consumers who eat meat. However no matter the blame the status is that a devastating blow has been struck to nature and one of the lungs of earth that delivers breathable air to all human beings. As such humanity’s chances of survival are diminishing.

So why not write about #500daysofClimateCrisis?

I think working towards a cleaner planet is generational – it will be something we will be working towards for the rest of our lives regardless of what topic we choose to focus on.

Additionally having worked with sustainability and climate for several years in a nonprofit prior to starting this project – and much of the focus on sustainability permeates my writing.

At the current time when I search for Amazon this is my top result:

It would be fair to argue that this is not related to artificial intelligence and perhaps simply big technology companies, however Google, Amazon and Facebook is not sufficiently prioritising the climate crisis. Ad revenue has a clear priority over the climate crisis, some would argue it is not relevant to these actors to care, however I would argue it is a nonpartisan issue. All people and companies are being affected by a worsening of the global climate as well as growing inequality. Broadly it is in our best interest to take action.

There are massive investments in ‘artificial intelligence and an increasing focus in terms of search patterns.

I do not know if this is of any consolation, however if we quantify then ‘love’ has a much higher search ranking than any of these terms.

Then again ‘sustainability’ or the ‘climate crisis’ receives far less attention. We have to be sceptical of ‘ai’ of course since it may be used for other purposes than an abbreviation for artificial intelligence.

Then again we can quantify and I do find this interesting, again another graphic from The Guardian may be illustrative of the Amazon disappearing:

One of my main reasons for learning more about artificial intelligence was however to learn why people find it so important. My field anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behaviour and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology studies patterns of behaviour, social anthropologists seek to understand how people live in societies and how they make their lives meaningful.

Yet it can be said to be a critical field to used to discover discrepancies from theories or quantitative surveys — of how lives actually are impacted by changes or lack of change. I believe this to be the case in relation to the impact or developments in the field of artificial intelligence.

If I were to formulate it clearly I would say my current mission is:

Making artificial intelligence work for our shared ecology

Attempting to understand is part of this process. The community working with artificial intelligence may be important to understand possibilities or failures to attempt reaching a higher degree of sustainability and reducing global emissions.

Artificial intelligence is not the answer, yet can contribute to a house on fire. The question I am attempting to answer is whether this contribution will be water to extinguish the fire or gasoline leading to further adverse decisions.

My 80 articles so far

This is a summary article to help those who follow my writing to navigate in my articles so far. I can certainly do more to summarise my thoughts, and I will be working on a book release this autumn that could be more helpful than a set of links. In the meantime here is a link to all 80 of my articles so far.

First 50 days — general approach.
From day 50–80: a focus on AI safety.

Word count: 119,257.

1. Defining AI — #500daysofAI:

2. An Essay On Applied Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Cities:

3. Some Current Issues In Funding of Artificial Intelligence:

4. Patents In The Field of Artificial Intelligence:

5. AI for Good and AI for Bad — published in The Startup:

6. AI Governance in Argentina and Uruguay:

7. Three Writers In The Field of AI:

8. Scandinavian AI Strategies 2019 — published In Becoming Human:

9. Social Scientists and AI — published in AI Social Research:

10. 10 reflections on AI:

11. The Rise and Rise of Spacemaker AI — published in Towards Data Science:

12. Inequalities and AI — published in The Startup:

13. Artificial Intelligence and Religion:

14. AI Contextual Awareness Engine:

15. A Noob Is Critiquing My Algorithm:

16. IRIS.AI Your Science Assistant — published in The Startup:

17. Digital Insecurities:

18. Artificial Intelligence in Switzerland:

19. Water and Artificial Intelligence

20. Artificial Intelligence and Music:

21. #500daysofAI after 20 days:

22. Everyday Life and Microprediction:

23. Biased Bananas? 🍌

24. AI and Nine Forms of Intelligence

25. Multimodal Elderly Care Systems Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Quality of Life:

26. Tales From Goodwin

27. The Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR)

28. The Qualitative Data Scientist

29. AI in Physical Product Design

30. Very Artificial Poetry

31. 30 Days of Artificial Intelligence

32. AI and The Imposter Syndrome

33. The New Chinese Startup Smart Speaker Startup Maybe

34. Artificial Intelligence of Things

35. Databaiting

36. AI as a Service

37. Digital Violence and AI

38. Stop in The Name of AI!

39. Google AI and Developments in Semi-Supervised Learning

40. Advancements in Semi-Supervised Learning with Unsupervised Augmented Data

41. How is the Quiet Revolution in Semi-Supervised Learning Changing the Industry?

42. 40 days along with 500days of AI

43. Saving Wildlife with Epigram AI

44. Google Federated Learning and AI

45. Artificial Intelligence and Pension

46. Databaiting with FaceApp

47. Towards Social Data Science

48. Facebook vs. EU Artificial Intelligence and Data Politics

49. Artificial Intelligence and Fairness

50. Far-Right Activism and AI

51. Towards Artificial General Intelligence

52. Debating the AI Safety Debate

53. How does Facebook define Terrorism in relation to Artificial Intelligence:

54. Avoiding Side Effects and Reward Hacking in Artificial Intelligence:

55. AI Safety and the Climate Crisis

56. Mitigation of Climate Change with Machine Learning

57. Adaptation to Climate Change with Machine Learning

58. AI Safety and Social Data Science

59. Artificial Intelligence and Norwegian Gender Quotas:

60. AI + Safety with DNV-GL:

61. Artificial Intelligence & The Bystander:

62. Does AI Safety Consider Job Safety or Not?:

63. Center for AI Safety at Stanford University:

64. Very Artificial Poetry #2:

65. Artificial Intelligence Ethics vs. World Domination

66. Artificial Intelligence and Recent Billion Dollar Investments 2019

67. Artificial Intelligence and Trust:

68. Safe Artificial General Intelligence:

69. The Top Myths About Advanced AI:

70. AI Safety and Designing to Understand What Humans Really Want:

71. 70 days of Artificial Intelligence:

72. Artificial Intelligence and the UNDP:

73. Elements of AI:

74. AI Safety — How Do You Prevent Adversarial Attacks:

75. How Safe is a Solution Within the Field of AI:

76. AI Safety and LawTech:

77. Artificial Intelligence and Biotechnology:

78. Evaluating Artificial Intelligence:

79. AI and Collective Action:

80. AI Safety in the Serengeti:

81. United Kingdom and Artificial Intelligence:

This is day 82 of #500daysofAI writing every day about artificial intelligence.

Thank you for reading.

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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