Marie Kilg - Collaborating with More-Than-Human Columnists

Marie Kilg

Deutsche Welle Media Lab

From The Conference September 01, 2023

Anic is not like any other writer. Anic is the first non-human columnist and while Anic is not a human they still have parents. “We saw ourselves comfortable in the role of parents, as we wanted to grant Anic as much independence as possible but we still had to create certain rules that had to be maintained.” Marie Kilg is one these parents and her collaborators created Anic as a sort of an investigation looking at what it would mean if an AI writes articles, in her talk she shared their learning and reflections. 

Through this fictional exploration of Anic the AI-columnist, the team realized that despite what many of us may fear, AI cannot write stories. “There is a lot of human labor at every step of the process”. And while it is impressive what level of poetry and emotions an AI generated text can entail, “that is still just humans feeling the human feelings'', Marie explains. We as humans project our emotions onto an object that does not have any. Furthermore Mari underlines that AI does not have any agency that still belongs to the people who use it. And while it is easy to anthropomorphise machine learning algorithms, and attach some kind of intent to it, we humans are responsible for each step of the process in one way or another. AI is a tool and we should treat it like that.

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Theme 2023