Countering AI Narratives

Facilitated by Şerife Wong

All too often, the hype surrounding AI drives the discussion, but artists can counter this narrative by capturing structural challenges in mitigating AI’s societal harms. This workshop begins with an overview of the negative impacts of algorithmic systems in sectors such as criminal justice, labor, media, and surveillance through the lens of an art practice. We will then review different ways art can play a role in tech policymaking before turning to the personal experiences of workshop attendees with these systems. We will discuss how we can shape AI narratives and change the perception of being powerlessness against tech- enabled systems, build public resilience, and expand our capacity of imagination necessary to fight for larger regulatory changes.

Workshop Notes:

AI systems unintentionally (and intentionally) violate human and civil rights. Monkeywrenching AI systems is direct action that can:

  • Bring attention to human rights issues in AI
  • Expose fragility (brittleness) of AI to inspire more action
  • Make system unusable and defend activists and public
  • Build psychological resilience

AI systems need to be trained on data before they are deployed. This gives us two major areas where performance art can interfere with the system: at the point of data collection and training the model and also in how a system is deployed in public.

What Autonomous system would you like to direct in a new way?

Where does information come into the AI System?

How can you interfere with that process?

Where do you want to take this autonomous system?

Who else can come with you?

The Facilitator

Şerife Wong is a Turkish Hawaiian artist and founder of Icarus Salon, an art think tank researching the ethics of emerging technology. In 2019, she was a resident at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center thematic month on AI, a jury member at Ars Electronica for the European Commission’s STARTS prize, and partnered with the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford to create Fluxus Landscape, a map of 500 actors in AI ethics and governance. Previously, she was both an Artist in Residence and Impact Program Manager at Autodesk’s Pier 9, worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Artnet Magazine. As an artist, she has exhibited internationally at venues such as Art Basel Miami, Shanghai Art Fair, FIAC Paris, ARCO Madrid, and Art Cologne. Şerife advocates for justice in AI which includes creating more active roles for artists in policymaking.