The purpose of the talks about “Utopia(s) reloaded: Science, activism and the techno-eco-social transformation” we are preparing for 26-28 October 2023 is to raise awareness of the scientific basis on which action can be effective in overcoming the current polycrisis. These talks are intended to explore the paradigm changes needed to transform our societies.
The International Society for the Study of Information (IS4SI) held its 6th summit in Beijing, hosted by the Beijing University of Post and Telecommunication (BUPT) 14-16 August 2023 (https://gsis.at/2023/08/08/paradigm-change-in-the-study-of-information/). It was a conference that focussed on a paradigm change with regard to the philosophy of information and all sciences of information with the aim to liberate the study of information from the paradigm it had so far borrowed from physics and to found it on its own paradigm. In particular, this holds for Artificial Intelligence, as Yixin Zhong, long-time professor at the AI School of BUPT and outgoing IS4SI co-president, pointed out in his opening speech. AI research is confronted with a mismatch of the old paradigm with the real demands. The new scientific worldview “requests that both matter and subjective factors have to be studied and, even more importantly, the process of information ecology produced by the subject-object interaction should more carefully be studied”. So far, a general AI theory is missing as is a universal AI system as is true intelligence in AI systems. A true AI would never be able to surpass humans comprehensively “because of the fact that all AI machines are not living beings and thus cannot possess such ability as that as human wisdom does”.
Yixin Zhong had drafted a declaration on the “Paradigm Revolution in AI” that was acclaimed in the end of the conference (http://gsis.at/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Declaration.pdf). Chinese media made timely reports to the public. See here a report in English (https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202308/16/WS64dc386ca31035260b81c737.html).
The Emergent Systems, Information and Society Research Group at GSIS is a Special Interest Group at the IS4SI. Since 2019 it has been working on a critical stance regarding AI (https://gsis.at/tag/ai/), thereby making use of an adapted view of Digital Humanism (https://gsis.at/tag/digital-humanism/).
GSIS Members contributed in-person or online and authored or co-authored the following proceeding papers in Computer Sciences & Mathematics Forum, vol. 8, issue 1, 2023:
Joseph Brenner and Zhensong Wang: On Middles and Thirds | https://doi.org/10.3390/cmsf2023008004
Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic: How GPT Realizes Leibniz’s Dream and Passes the Turing Test without Being Conscious | https://doi.org/10.3390/cmsf2023008066
Annette Grathoff: How Much Rationality is Needed for Decision Making? | https://doi.org/10.3390/cmsf2023008012
Wolfgang Hofkirchner: Techno-Social Systems – A Value-Based Model for Digitalisation | https://doi.org/10.3390/cmsf2023008003
Wolfgang Hofkirchner: Large Language Models Cannot Meet Artificial General Intelligence Expectations | https://doi.org/10.3390/cmsf2023008067
Liang Wang and Ziyi Ma: The Construction Approach of Machine Consciousness and its Limitations | https://doi.org/10.3390/cmsf2023008016
Liang Wang, Shengrui Wang and Ziyi Ma: The Convergence of Information Science and Information Philosophy Driven by the Information Revolution | https://doi.org/10.3390/cmsf2023008031
It is clear that the paradigm change in information studies and AI with its ethically aligned design request is an indispensable part of the paradigm shift that shall assist to overcome the polycrisis.