Between Hype and Scaremongering in an Age of AI: A Philosophical Inquiry into Three Scenarios on the Current and Future State of AI

Bjartur Dal-Christiansen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important in our times in both business and society. It is well established that artificial intelligence will continue to have large-scale consequences across many levels of society both in the near and far future.
This study uncovers the story of technological progress within the narrative of artificial intelligence, as it appears in selected present and future scenarios. The research objective seeks to map out three different scenarios regarding the current and future state of AI. In this context, Pragmatic AI is defined as the business use case for AI technology, Death by Banality is defined as an overly pessimistic attitude to the future of AI, and Digital Utopia is defined as an overly optimistic attitude to the future potential of AI.
To discuss and analyze the respective scenarios I apply Charles Eisenstein’s overarching philosophical concept of the Story of Separation and the related concepts of technology, science, reason, and control. The Story of Separation both challenges and critiques established narratives and assumptions about artificial intelligence. In conclusion, I show that rooted deep within the story of artificial intelligence in both the current Pragmatic as well as both future scenarios, there is a story about technological progress based on an even deeper Story of Separation.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages65
SupervisorsOle Bjerg