Designing frameworks that allow for Intentions, Commitments and Exuberance in AI

Feb 3, 2018, Cambridge Massachusetts, USA



Crystal Jean Baranyk and Adam Phelps created an art piece called Temple of Commitments where different pollinators form the shape of a flower.
  • Hardwire a safeguard objective function, a built in instinct that would get the machine to by default be social or have some other inartistic behavior. Still it’s very difficult to design an objective and be sure there’s no side effects.
  • We should be able to train the system to train it’s objective function though something called adversarial training in the field of Inverse Reinforcement Learning. The goal there is to train the objective to emulate the (unknown) objectives of the human trainers.
The 19th-Century Vision of the Year 2000, perhaps the fairyland that Karinthy and his contemporaries imagined for us . Published by Isaac Asimov in his book “Futuredays: A Nineteenth Century Vision of the Year 2000”.


  • a language,
  • a script,
  • the background story defining the context of the script,
  • a batch of questions about the script,
  • a batch of answers to those questions.


In 1991, after a lifetime of biological research, the scientist Lynn Margulis published Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation. Rather than biology, her work focused on the interactions in emergent mutualistic systems. The first system she examines was that of the coral/zooxanthellae symbiosis, wherein the zooxanthellae live in coral cells and provide nutrients to the coral as it lives. Take away one of them and the other one will die. Margulis recognized that we needed a new word and a new framework to understand and describe organisms as systems, rather than individuals — holobiont.

Symbiotic relationships scale up quickly to forests, cities, the notion of culture and many others to create a worldview that not just removes the individual from the center, it also removes the idea of a center. Photo Credits Tiffany Lin, @TiffClin



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Bogdana Rakova

Bogdana Rakova


Senior Trustworthy AI Fellow at Mozilla Foundation, working on improving AI contestability, transparency, accountability, and human agency