AI & Agency

This set of essays, many of which are framed as provocations, suggests that there remain many open questions, and inconsistent assumptions on the topic. Many of the writings include more questions than answers, encouraging readers to revisit their own beliefs about agency.


Technocultural Pluralism

At the end of the Cold War, the renowned political scientist, Samuel Huntington, argued that future conflicts were more likely to stem from cultural frictions– ideologies, social norms, and political systems– rather than political or economic frictions.1 Huntington focused his concern on the future of geopolitics in a rapidly shrinking world. But his argument applies as forcefully (if not more) to the interaction of technocultures.

By technocultures, I mean the stitched global patchwork of interacting technological ecosystems we currently live in. For an intuitive illustration of these distinct ecosystems, observe variations in these popular platform choices circa 2017 (Figure 1.). Given the proliferation of global tech platforms (e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp, LINE, etc.), these variations can give noisy hints about where technocultural fault-lines lie. I argue that ecosystems are characterized not just by local consensus or concordance in tech adoption, but also in culture, policies, tech innovation, and deployment priorities.