|dc.description.abstract||Machines, Minds, and Mandrakes: New Narratives for an Old Battle
I am a combat epistemologist. (It’s my job to study hostile philosophies, and disrupt them.
Charles Stross, The Annihilation Score)
There are of course 2 meanings of 'AI'; Hans Ewers' 1911 novel Alraune (The Mandrake) deals with the first, with its story of a beautiful, deadly woman created by Artificial Insemination. Human innovation leads to destruction; do you see the connection with 'our' AI? Prometheus, Faust, Frankenstein, Ewer's Ten Brinken: a repeating story of scientific experiment leading inevitably to disaster, in narratives which are hardwired into our sociocultural DNA. Is this the best we can do?
This article will discuss the power of narrative as a driver for change, and argue that the ideas of AI as aberrant, innately hostile, and to be feared must be confronted and challenged if we are to advance as a species. In doing battle with this old, old story, those of us who do not automatically recoil from AI need to find new ways of telling our tale.||en