Photo by @maxducourneau. Hot air balloon over Cappadocia, Turkey.

Looking Back at 489 Days of AI

Closing in on 500 days of writing about artificial intelligence

I have had a project called #500daysofAI and it has been quite a journey.

I decided to write about artificial intelligence almost 500 days ago. This article maps out an overview of the days and outlines a few thoughts about the past, present and future.

Here is a general outline of how I spent my days writing for soon 500 days:

1–50 days (general); 50–100 days (AI safety & climate); 100–150 days: AI & international relations; 150–200 days (national AI strategies); 200–300 days (national and international AI strategies); 300–350 days (AI & hardware); 350–400 days (AI & inequality); 400–450 (natural language processing); 450–500 (general & reflection).

You can read all these articles if you wish here by backtracking: https://medium.com/@alexmoltzau

However, this journey has made me want to look back to look forward.

What is the next step beyond these days?

To me I would like to start on a new writing project!

This seems pretty obvious.

An Introduction to AI Policy:

A collaborative effort for responsible artificial intelligence

Separate to this, if possible, I would like to summarise the 500 days of AI into a small book simply called ‘500 days of AI’.

I am not entirely sure whether I should rewrite a few of my favourite articles together into a narrative, or base the book on the experience of writing about artificial intelligence for 500 days. We will see.

Regardless this seems like a good way forward.

Why? Here are six immediate thoughts:

  1. Is this learning experience valuable to others?
  2. Find out how this learning experience can be shared with others.
  3. Find out if others find it helpful.
  4. I want to review these 500 days and consider what I have learnt.
  5. I wonder what information I want to keep, and perhaps build on.
  6. Explore future directions for research or work.

Beyond this I think it would be great to think about future collaborations.

As a side note I have thought about whether this is something that I want long-term.

How important is artificial intelligence?

Beyond technology ecosystems I would like to know our ecosystem better.

Understanding humanity in its great diversity has been an interest reading social anthropology. Exploring stories, narratives and history from around the planet observed by people with an interest to understand these textured realities that is human life.

I only grasp a little bit more, yet I am grateful for that and want to learn more. Thankfully I am lucky to be in an interdisciplinary master’s programme called Social Data Science where people with a diverse range of background in social science are participating.

Understanding nature is one aspect that I have neglected too much. I have been engaged in nonprofits and international development for years in sustainability and climate concerns with the current crises. Although this has been the case it has not always brought me closer to an understanding of nature.

It is easy to be grounded (aloft) in a chair watching nature documentaries while discussing problems pertaining to the planet. Documentaries are not bad at all, yet it would be great to gain a more direct understanding of different aspects of our ecosystem, of nature.

Again, how important is artificial intelligence?

It may be slightly extreme, yet if it does not contribute to a more sustainable planet and hurries onwards planetary destruction or at least of liveable habitat for all species of the planet, then perhaps it is less important.

AI has become a large point of discussion, and must deserve its importance.

I think there is a general consensus that would be easy to support that artificial intelligence should:

  1. Not lead to the destruction or partial decimation of humanity by accident or purpose.

What I am less sure about is whether there is a general consensus that:

  • AI must not lead to the destruction or assist in the deterioration of planetary habitats for humans and animals.
  • AI must be used actively to help prevent a climate crisis and overheating event across our shared planet.
  • AI must be used to help reduce the current extreme social inequalities globally in terms of outcomes and opportunities.

Still, it is somewhat simple to see that this goal first and foremost may be affected strongly by these three other points.

There are plenty of decelerations on artificial intelligence with varying goals and priorities. As such, there is no lack of overarching commitments whether they be national or multilateral in form.

I do find it inspiring to see how people around the world work to address these issues.

Inspiring, because I also want to find out how I can contribute.

Hopefully these soon 500 days have been some form of contribution through continuous sharing of thinking and sparking more informed discussions.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 489. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.

AI Policy and Ethics at www.nora.ai. Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own. twitter.com/AlexMoltzau