Found in: Lunchtime Talk
Vampires of Avonmouth book
Image from Vampires of Avonmouth book cover. Illustrations by Jazz Thompson

AI Politics

Lunchtime Talks Online

Live stream

Please note: This live stream took place in June 2021

In the latest of his "For Sceptics" series, author and Studio resident Tim Kindberg returns to the subject of AI both as an instrument of power and as a provocation to the imagination.

Tim's recent novel, Vampires of Avonmouth, is about a struggle between humanity and the vampiric nature of technology platforms when left in the wrong hands. It portrays a future in which both dodgy AI and brain-internet connections have been deployed widely; global technology companies govern the planet, exercising control via algorithms that have sapped our connection both to ourselves and to the world around us.

This talk will cover the reality behind these imaginings. First, it's important not to exaggerate what "AI" can actually do now, or will be able to do any time soon. However, corporations and governments deploy AI despite its limitations. AI is an instrument of power. They use it for surveillance, to constrain the forms of our labour, and in a more subtle way to cast a technological shadow over our humanity. As Kate Crawford and others argue, we should therefore talk about AI politics, and not use the corporate euphemism "AI ethics".