AI 2050: Speculative Fiction Workshop @ Rights Con 2019

We held a speculative fiction workshop at Rights Con to imagine AI trajectories in the Global South.

Most conversations around AI trajectories and impacts are based on examples from northern or industrialized economies. Popular narratives and imaginations rely on mostly on Hollywood, swinging between dooms-day scenarios to those of a utopian paradise. This also has the effect of directing attention to certain issues, at the expense of others - killer robots that take over the world, instead of algorithmic-based housing discrimination.

But, AI trajectories will differ across contexts, as they intersect with local socio-cultural systems. What is the future of AI in geographies associated with the so-called global south? Who are the winners and losers? What are the possible alternate futures and how do we steer AI toward a future we want? What new imaginations are needed?

In partnership with Quicksand Design studio, we held a speculative fiction workshop to explore alternative imaginations and futures for AI in the Global South. Speculative fiction, as a futuring technique, provides a way to test common assumptions, identify social values at stake, and consider a range of preferable and plausible futures.

Initiative

AI & Society