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My Wishful Thinking for AI in 2021

A few personal thoughts considering the field of AI for the next year and my own wishes for learning

Winter is coming… At least in Norway where I live. October may seem a bit early to make a wishlist, however I thought this would be a good time. I am finishing up 500 days of writing about artificial intelligence every day, and it is time to look forward. Be aware that this is a blog article, and less focused on critical discussion or informative exploration of new topics than some of my other articles.

If you would take the time to share your wishlist for AI in the response (with a comment) that would make me very happy.

I cannot make a wishlist for anyone else than myself, so here it goes and in no particular order:

After almost 500 days of writing about artificial intelligence I feel very grateful to have some of my previous wishes fulfilled.

Lines in the sand and my previous personal wishes in 2019–2020

Goals and wishes are not exactly the same. Still, I find it interesting to look back at article number 20 where I had some thoughts about setting myself goals. I framed these as goals not wishes, but I still look back at these:

“Short-term goals:

Long-term goals:

Did I reach any of these?

Yes.

Did I reach all?

No.

However, I reached some of my goals.

In addition to this there was so much more.

I wrote about some of this in my 200 days of AI.

From talking and writing to doing

One big change was that I started a MSc in Social Data Science at the University of Copenhagen. This means I am programming every day of the week and learning rather much about both the practical aspects of programming and theories within social science broadly. I was also fortunate to get to test out some of my data skills with UNDP.

After 500 days of AI is done I wish to learn more!

I wish I can contribute more. I want to make a difference for those working in the technology industry, and I wish to be less annoying and more helpful.

After 500 days of AI there is a lot I want to do.

First in the short-term I look forward to more time with my wife, family and friends — although I am unsure if I will write any less.

I will call up my grandmother in Iceland more. She is one of the warmest people there, in a very cold country.

It is perhaps too easy to say that I will become a better person or do better and so on so forth.

I may focus more on writing code and less on writing articles. Yet, I will continue writing and hopefully more quality than quantity. Clearly, not every single text you write if you have to publish every single day for 500 days will be anything you are happy with. I have received both positive and negative comments.

Writing a text that is valuable to the reader is important.

At the same time text is thinking out loud to me, and I learn so much from every article and every evening spent reading up on a new topic.

I wish to continue learning from friends who comment my articles when I meet them, or tell me what they care about relating to artificial intelligence.

I wish to join a community of writers to a greater extent or create a community of writers on AI & Society here in Oslo.

Wishful thinking on AI

Then again, this may be wishful thinking.

It is easy to inscribe too much into one goal or ascribe it too much value.

It is clear to me that artificial intelligence is influencing society in rapid ways, yet it is easy to become confused or overestimate what one wish turned into a goal can mean.

Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs based on what might be pleasing to imagine, rather than on evidence, rationality, or reality.

Many contemporary applications of AI are wishful thinking — based on what the inscribed/programmer/stakeholder wants or imagines to be pleasing instead of reality.

Equally wondrous, disastrous and wishful — artificial intelligence.

I heard my endeavour to write 500 days about AI described as wishful thinking.

I doubted that I could do it almost every week for the first 200–300 days.

Then it became part of my everyday life.

I remember one night coming back from a wedding party in a foreign country remembering that I had yet to write an article for that day. I wrote the article (somewhat drunk) and edited it the day after sober. Admittedly, I cannot remember what specific day that was, and perhaps that is for the best.

My wishful thinking has taken me some wonderful places.

It brought me here to you as a writer, as a voice in the void.

Black typeface on a white screen, as you explore your thoughts.

I wish you wishful thinking — to believe in your thoughts.

Thoughts can turn into words and take you places you never thought you would end up going.

Maybe into the field of artificial intelligence?

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 498. 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