RadicalxChange Talk: “Pluralism Through Personal AIs”

On July 3, 2020, Steve Omohundro and Puja Ohlhaver discussed “Pluralism Through Personal AIs” at the 2020 RadicalxChange Conference:

Artificial Intelligence is transforming every aspect of business and society. The usual narrative focuses on monolithic AIs owned by large corporations and governments that promote the interests of the powerful. But imagine a world in which each person has their own “personal AI” which deeply models their beliefs, desires, and values and which promotes those interests. Such agents enable much richer and more frequent “semantic voting” improving feedback for governance. They dramatically change the incentives for advertisers and news sources. When personal agents filter manipulative and malicious content, it incentivizes the creation of content that is aligned with a person’s values. Economic transactions, social interactions, personal transformation, and ability to contribute to the greater good will all be dramatically transformed by personal AI agents. But there are also many challenges and new ideas are needed. Come join this fireside chat to discuss the possibilities and perils of personal AIs and how they relate to the RadicalXChange movement.


Puja Ohlhaver is a technologist and lawyer who explores the intersection of technology, democracy, and markets. She is an advocate of digital social innovation, as a path to rebooting democracy and testing regulatory innovations. She is an inventor and founder of ClearPath Surgical, a company that seeks to improve health outcomes in minimally invasive surgery. She holds a law degree from Stanford Law School and was previously an investment management attorney.

Steve Omohundro has been a scientist, professor, author, software architect, and entrepreneur and is developing the next generation of artificial intelligence. He has degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Physics from U.C. Berkeley. He was an award-winning computer science professor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and cofounded the Center for Complex Systems Research. He is the Chief Scientist of AIBrain and serves on its Board of Directors. AIBrain is creating new AI technologies for learning, conversation, robotics, simulation, and music and has offices in Menlo Park, Seoul, Berlin, and Shenzhen. It is creating Turingworld, a powerful AI learning social media platform based on AI-optimized learning, AI-powered gamification, and AI-enhanced social interaction. He is also Founder and CEO of Possibility Research which is working to develop new foundations for Artificial Intelligence based on precise mathematical semantics and Self-Aware Systems which is working to ensure that intelligent technologies have a positive impact. Steve published the book “Geometric Perturbation Theory in Physics”, designed the first data parallel language StarLisp, wrote the 3D graphics for Mathematica, developed fast neural data structures like balltrees, designed the fastest and safest object-oriented language Sather, invented manifold learning, co-created the first neural focus of attention systems, co-designed the best lip reading system, invented model merging for fast one-shot learning, co-designed the best stochastic grammar learning system, co-created the first Bayesian image search engine PicHunter, invented self-improving AI, discovered the Basic AI Drives, and proposed many of the basic AI safety mechanisms including AI smart contracts. Steve is an award-winning teacher and has given hundreds of talks around the world. Some of his talks and scientific papers are available here. He holds the vision that new technologies can help humanity create a more compassionate, peaceful, and life-serving world.

Here is the conference website with the other presentations:


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