Research Track

Intelligence and Autonomy

Active from 2014-2018, this track developed grounded, qualitative research to contextualize a cross-disciplinary understanding of AI, and to inform the design, evaluation, and regulation of AI-driven systems.

About this Track

Our newest AI-related research can be found under the research track AI on the Ground.

Rather than focus on utopian dreaming or dystopian fears, the Intelligence & Autonomy research track (2014-2018) began from the position that the historical and social contexts in which AI systems emerge and operate should be central to debates about their uses and potential effects. To contribute to and develop this understanding, we produced empirical research ranging from an analysis of the ways in which service platforms, like Uber, may present a potential backdoor to employment discrimination to the history of aviation autopilot litigation and its implications for legal responsibility in autonomous systems.

We also engaged a range of stakeholders, aiming to foster productive interdisciplinary and inter-institutional conversations. These engagements included invited talks and workshops, including Futures Forum 2015, a cross-disciplinary convening that used scenarios drawn from commissioned science fiction stories as a collective starting point for new and inclusive ways of planning for the future. We also published An AI Pattern Language, a booklet based on interviews conducted in 2015-2016 with practitioners working in the intelligent systems and AI industry that presents a taxonomy of social challenges facing AI industry practitioners and articulates an array of patterns that practitioners have developed in response.

The Intelligence & Autonomy Initiative was founded with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Microsoft Research, with additional research support from The Ethics and Governance of AI Fund.

All Work