SXSW 2019

Untold AI: Is Sci-Fi Telling Us the Right Stories?


How do depictions of Artificial Intelligence in popular science fiction affect how we think about real AI and its future? How has fiction about AI influenced the development of AI technology and policy in the real world? (And do we really have to talk about Terminator’s Skynet or 2001’s Hal 9000 every damned time we talk about the risks of AI?) Join bestselling sci-fi authors Cory Doctorow and Malka Older, editor Chris Noessel, along with futurism and AI policy experts as they examine what TV, movies, games, and sci-fi literature are telling us about AI, compare those lessons to real-world AI tech & policy, and identify the stories that we should be telling ourselves about AI, but aren’t.

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  1. What are the dominant themes in stories about AI, whether in movies and TV, or games, or science fiction literature, both historically and currently?
  2. What are the dominant themes right now in AI policy circles as experts grapple with the rapidly expanding power and impact of AI technologies?
  3. How do the themes in our fiction and the themes in real-world AI expert communities compare, and what stories aren't we telling that we should be?



Christopher Noessel, Designer, IBM

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Media & Journalism
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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