AI Commons Workshop

This week, I participated in a day-long workshop at Concordia, organized by the Machines Agencies working group, to think about what an AI commons might look like. Here are is an excerpt from the original call:

How can artificial intelligence be oriented toward the common good? The belief in AI for good has widespread acceptance in the industry and among governments. Declarations from around the globe—Canada, China, South Korea, France, and more—call for the development of AI to have a social purpose. But what is that purpose?

This workshop seeks to develop a commons-based vision for the future of AI as an intervention to understand transformations in citizen engagement as part of a larger research project to explore practices of citizenship in a skeptical world.

The afternoon had a really interesting format: we separated into groups to write positions statements to the following pre-determined questions:

  1. What should an AI Commons be?
  2. How could the development of AI today—including the infrastructure and knowledge at its foundation—become a commons?
  3. Could AI reshape how we think about the commons, leading to new theories or practices?
  4. How might we imagine a future common world for the machines, environments, humans, and other life drawn together by the industrial efforts around AI?

We finished the day with over 30 pages of ideas to be synthesized and circulated… if only all workshops were this productive..!

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