Resisting Reduction (Paperback)
Designing Our Complex Future with Machines
Mit Press, 9780262043144, 224pp.
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Provocative, hopeful essays imagine a future that is not reduced to algorithms.
When Joi Ito published an essay, "Resisting Reduction: A Manifesto," about human flourishing in an age of machine intelligence, his argument against industrial optimizations in the pursuit of growth and for the importance of natural complexity and resilience received such an impassioned response that he invited writers to develop full-length essays continuing the conversation. Resisting Reduction is the result: Ito's manifesto and nine equally provocative responses, all imagining a future that is not limited by a worldview defined by algorithm. Rather than await our inevitable domination by machines, Ito and his respondents argue, we should work toward a future of interconnected complex systems.
Ito blames Silicon Valley's "groupthink" and "cult of technology" for claiming that narrow technical solutions can resolve the world's complex problems. More computing power does not make us more "intelligent," he tells us, only more computationally powerful. In their responses, the other writers offer persuasive and compelling variations on Ito's argument. Among other things, they call for a "Human+AI Centaur" as the best way to augment intelligence; draw on indigenous epistemology to argue for an extended "circle of relationships" that includes the nonhuman and robotic; debunk the myth of the lone pioneer and propose instead a model of adaptive interconnectivity; cast "Snow White" as a tale of AI featuring a "smart mirror"; point out the "cisnormativity" of security protocol algorithms; and consider the limits of moral mathematics.
Noelani Arista, Nicky Case, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Vafa Ghazavi, Kat Holmes, Joi Ito, Suzanne aka Kite, Cathryn Klusmeier, Jason Edward Lewis, Molly McCue, Archer Pechawis, Jaclyn Sawyer, Gary Zhexi Zhang, Snoweria Zhang