SXSW 2024

Clear-Eyed AI for the Gloomy Guy


The “AI Doomer”–the cultural critic warning of sentient AI capable of destroying humanity–has become just another part of technology hype, adding to misunderstandings of all-powerful AI as already or soon to be here. AI Doom grabs headlines but once it blows over, AI Gloom sets in. And, that’s the real danger. It’s a vague, persistent feeling that the world will slowly and inevitably be rebuilt in service of AI, from prompt writing to productivity tracking. This panel challenges the apathy of AI Gloom by getting specific about possibility, danger and intervention in building a future for work.

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  1. Are we powerless to shape the future of AI in workplaces? What tools does the public have: legally, governmentally, culturally, creatively?
  2. What is contemporary AI actually capable of: How is it related to/different from familiar technologies and what is important about these differences?
  3. How do our fears about AI contribute to or work against building sensible and safe paths forward?



Samantha Shorey, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Workplace Revolution
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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