Anatomy of an AI

Vladan Joler (RS), Kate Crawford (AU)

In the 21st century, we are seeing a new kind of mining for raw materials that drills deep into the biosphere. This enables AI technologies that are having a profound effect on the cognitive and affective layers of human nature. The resources for producing systems such as Amazon Echo, a speech controlled, Internet-based personal assistant, go beyond the technical aspects of data modelling, hardware, servers, and networks and extend much further into the realms of work, capital, and nature. The true costs – social, ecological, economic, and political – remain mostly hidden. Anatomy of an AI uses the example of Amazon Echo to show the countless components and factors behind the production of artificial intelligence systems. But this process is so complex that its full extent can hardly be comprehended.

Authors: Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler
Maps and design: Vladan Joler and Kate Crawford
Published by: SHARE Lab, SHARE Foundation and The AI Now Institute, NYU
This project is presented in the framework of the European ARTifi cial Intelligence Lab and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.