You’ve seen the refrain: “Whose values will be built into AI?”

Behind this question — often posed with a hint of foreboding — rests an important assumption: that one set of values will be selected as the winner by some elite decision maker.

It’s a view of power that is state-centric and zero-sum. And increasingly it looks like no one’s values will determine the course that many of the most powerful algorithms take.

Increasingly, algorithms are able to learn to cooperate with other algorithms and humans. This mutual cooperation happens on the fly. And it produces positive-sum interactions.

The possibility of machines creating positive sum interactions reveals the fundamental flaw in state-centric thinking. …

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Adam Hill

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