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Science fiction has long speculated about a future of thinking machines and artificial beings. Now, with artificial intelligence becoming ubiquitous, we need to learn from these speculations to navigate towards a future we want.

AI Policy Futures investigates science fiction narratives for policy insights about artificial intelligence. This is a joint project of the Center for Science and the Imagination (CSI) at Arizona State University and the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation, supported by the Hewlett Foundation.

CSI is conducting an extensive literature review of AI in science fiction writing, film, and games, in order to create a taxonomy of the different ways in which we have imagined the social and policy consequences of machine intelligence. This will be followed by a spring workshop drawing together policy experts, AI industry leaders, and science fiction writers, where we will identify new areas for research and commission a set of original science fiction stories exploring the full possibility space of AI.

Project Team

Kevin Bankston: Director of New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI)
Ed Finn: Director of ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination
Andrew Dana Hudson: speculative fiction writer and graduate student at ASU’s School of Sustainability

Advisory Board

Madeline Ashby: futurist and author of novels including the Machine Dynasty series and Company Town
Rumman Chowdhury: data scientist, AI ethicist, and Global Lead for Responsible AI at Accenture Applied Intelligence
Kanta Dihal: postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
Stephanie Dinkins: transmedia artist and associate professor at Stony Brook University who creates platforms for dialog about artificial intelligence (AI) as it intersects race, gender, aging, and our future histories
Cory Doctorow: activist, journalist, and bestselling author of acclaimed novels such as Walkaway, Little Brother, and Homeland
Tim Hwang: director of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative
Chris Noessel: keeper of blog, coauthor of Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction and author of Designing Agentive Technology: AI That Works for People, lead designer with IBM’s Watson Customer Engagement
Malka Older: sociologist, aid worker, and author of the acclaimed Centenal Cycle novels: Infomocracy, Null States, and State Tectonics