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CITRIS, CDSS and BAIR Present: Jaron Lanier on Data Dignity in AI

Banner with blue shapes. Text reads: Sept. 13. Distinguished Lecture on the Status and Future of AI. Data Dignity and the Inversion of AI. Jaron Lanier, Prime Unifying Scientist, Microsoft.

Talk Title: “Data Dignity and the Inversion of AI”

Speaker: Jaron Lanier, Prime Unifying Scientist, Microsoft

Register To Attend | Watch Livestream on YouTube

Abstract: In this talk, Jaron Lanier will discuss a piece he published in The New Yorker (“There Is No AI”) about applying data dignity ideas to artificial intelligence (AI). Large-model AI can be reconceived as a social collaboration between the people who provided data to the model in the form of text, images and other modalities. This is a figure/ground inversion of the usual conception of AI as being a participant or collaborator in its own right. Explanations of model results and behaviors would then center around the relative influence of specific inputs through a provenance calculation mechanism. This formulation suggests new and different strategies for long-term economics in the context of high-performance AI, as well as more concrete approaches to many safety, fairness and alignment questions.

Jaron Lanier.Speaker Bio: Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, artist and author. He currently serves as prime unifying scientist for Microsoft. His many awards include an IEEE lifetime career award and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. He was named one of the 25 most influential people in the previous 25 years of tech history by Wired, one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time, one of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals by Foreign Policy, and a top 50 world thinker by Prospect Magazine. In computer science Lanier is probably best known for his work in virtual reality. He coined the term, had the first startup, sold the first hardware and pioneered the major applications. His tech startups landed at Adobe, Google and Pfizer. He is also known as a critic of technology, through books like “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts” and TV appearances such as in “The Social Dilemma.” He is active in cognitive science, theoretical physics, philosophy and economics.

About the Talk: Co-hosted with the UC Berkeley College of Computing, Data Science, and Society and the UC Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab.

About the Series: CITRIS Research Exchange delivers fresh perspectives on information technology and society from distinguished academic, industry and civic leaders. Free and open to the public, these seminars feature leading voices on societal-scale research issues. Presentations take place on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. PT. Have an idea for a great talk? Please feel free to suggest potential speakers for our series.

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