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MUTEK_IMG 5: "Making Kin with the Machines" – Jason Edward Lewis and Suzanne Kite

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Keynote by Jason Edward Lewis and Suzanne Kite – Initiative for Indigenous Futures (US/QC)
Moderation by Angela Gabereau – RDnote (CA/QC)

Presented in collaboration with Initiative for Indigenous Futures and Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace
Wednesday, August 21, 2019 - Les Studios des 7 Doigts

"Man is neither height nor centre of creation." This belief is core to many Indigenous epistemologies. It underpins ways of knowing and speaking that acknowledge kinship networks that extend to animals and plants, wind and rocks, mountains and oceans. Indigenous communities worldwide have retained the languages and protocols that enable us to engage in dialogue with our non-human kin, creating mutually intelligible discourses across differences in material, vibrancy, and genealogy.

Jason Edward Lewis and Suzanne Kite discuss their views on how advanced computational systems such as AI might be seen as non-human relations. Their discussion is based on an article, "Making Kin with the Machines," they co-wrote with historian Noelani Arista and artist Archer Pechawis and published in the MIT Journal of Design Science in the fall of 2018. In that essay, they reconsider how to approach the problem of bias in AI though the lens of Indigenous world-views. They suggest that Indigenous knowledge systems are much better at accommodating the non-human than Western philosophies, because they do not place man at the centre of creation. The writers seek a relationship to non-human intelligences — beyond that of merely tools or slaves — as potential partners who exist in a living system of mutual respect

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