No. 207: China’s AI Exports| A Historian Bot | Trustworthy AI Framework

AI, Foreign Policy, and National Governance Impact: Focus on China (Modern Diplomacy)

Arthur Gwagwa outlines the potential bad effects of China’s inroads throughout the Global South and export of its AI technology particularly to African countries. I share his concern that these technologies could help bad leaders on the continent dig their heels in through ratcheting up a surveillance state.

I disagree with his view that the West should come in and save African nations and other members of the Global South from China’s incursions. I posted yesterday about how the U.S. doesn’t have an AI strategy. Despite US attempts to isolate Huawei, Britain is going ahead to contract with the company to build 5G networks. How are these countries going to counter China in other countries without a strategy and being on the same page?

African countries and other members of the global south have to figure out how to avoid yet another principal-agent table tennis match and figure out how to be stronger and stronger agents on a global scale in shaping AI and its uses.

Metahistory for (Ro)bots: Historical Knowledge in the Artificial Intelligence Era (Historia da Historiographia)

This is a very interesting paper that anticipates the development AI-powered historian bots that serve as our future textbooks on world history. The authors propose a method for developing that technology well, in efforts to avoid any bad effects.

Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt always glorifies the hunter.

This quote was ringing in my head while working through the paper. The authors outline how the data sets containing all the historical information need to be structured properly so they can be scanned into the database the bot would draw from well. What happens to cultures that still rely on oral history? What about parts of the world where everything hasn’t been digitized yet?

I could see a historian bot being an incredibly powerful tool to surface history that is typically glossed over, but the inputs have to be broad ranging and accurate. I could also see a historian bot baking in poorly informed historical takes that shape biases and lead to the kind of ignorance we see in the world today

Establishing the rules for building trustworthy AI (Nature)

It is time to ‘make haste slowly’ (festina lente) in the development of AI.

Luciano Floridi, a member of the High Level Expert Group put together by the European Commission, outlined a framework for how the EU should shape the development of AI by putting the brakes on its development and asking ethics questions early on.

The amount of compute in AI processes is doubling every three and a half months. I don’t see how the folks building these technologies work well with stakeholders like the High Level Expert Group when the group took a year to develop a 7-point framework for building trustworthy AI. The technology is advancing too quickly.