Author: omohundro

Risk Group: “Rise of Algorithms in Decision Making”

On November 20, 2018 Steve Omohundro participated in Risk Group’s “Risk Roundup” discussing the “Rise of Algorithms in Decision Making” with Jayshree Pandya:

This episode of Risk Roundup discusses the rise of algorithmic decision making, the complex challenges, risks and rewards. Prof. Omohundro provided a thoughtful insight on the need to ensure integrity, transparency and trust in algorithmic decision-making.

Here’s the video of our discussion:

Risk Roundup Webcast: Algorithmic Decision Making


AUTOPILOTO Radio Show from an Autonomous Vehicle

On November 15, 2018, Steve Omohundro will be interviewed about the social impact of AI in an autonomous vehicle driving around Silicon Valley as a part of the “AUTOPILOTO” art project:



Thursday, November 15, 2018 – Friday, November 16, 2018

What will our streets and cities look and sound like in a driverless future?

The Lucas Artists Program presents AUTOPILOTO by artist collective, an online live-streaming 24-hour broadcast from a semi-autonomous vehicle traveling around the Bay Area, on November 15 and 16.

AUTOPILOTO will investigate the challenges and opportunities of emerging autonomous mobilities through live soundscapes, music, and Spanish-English-Vietnamese conversations with drivers, designers, technologists, municipal agents, researchers, artists, and scientists, opening a channel for music, storytelling, and sonic experiments.



November 15-16, 2018
SARATOGA, CA (1 October 2018) — This November, the Sally & Don Lucas Artists Program at Montalvo Arts Center presents a new commission from international creative collective AUTOPILOTO, a marathon radio transmission broadcast while on the move in a semi-autonomous vehicle traversing the Bay Area, examining how emerging autopilot technologies are transforming the world. Live streaming on November 15 and 16, AUTOPILOTO will include interviews with drivers, designers, technologists, municipal agents, researchers, artists, scientists, mechanics and more, as well as soundscapes and music. Through storytelling and sonic experiments, it will compose an audio portrait of the Bay Area at a specific moment in time. The live-stream of the broadcast will be available on both and
AUTOPILOTO is a commissioned project by the Lucas Artist Program at the Montalvo Arts Center, and is presented as part of New Terrains: Mobility and Migration, a series of cross-disciplinary exhibitions, programs and experiences that explore how bodies move through spaces—social, political, literal, and figurative. The broadcast is co-hosted with Trami Cron of Chopsticks Alley Art. Special guests will include voices from ARUP; fka SV Inc; Nissan Research Center; SETI Institute; Transportation Sustainability Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, Yu-Ai Kai Community Center, and others. It will feature music and live performance by such artists as Anna Fritz, Taylor Ho Bynum, Philip Hermans, Motoko HondaShane A. Myrbeck & Emily Shisko, and San Jose Jazz. For more information, the public may visit or or call Donna Conwell at 408-777-2100.

Million AI Startups Talk: AI for Human Flourishing

Steve Omohundro will speak on “AI for Human Flourishing” on November 27, 2018 at 6:00 PM at BootUP Silicon Valley in Menlo Park as a part of Million AI Startups workshop on “AI for Mankind”.

AI for Human Flourishing

2018 is the best year in human history. The rates of hunger, poverty, violence, and illiteracy are all at their lowest levels ever. We have achieved this using both human intelligence and collective intelligence. But things are about to get even better using Artificial Intelligence. A recent UN report predicts that today’s AI will create at least $70 trillion of value through 2030 and new AI technologies could double that. AI will impact every single challenge humanity currently faces. In addition to vastly improving productivity, it will provide new solutions to social dilemmas and will provide new coordination mechanisms to foster cooperation. It will be used to predict and mitigate extreme behavior in a wide range of complex systems including the climate, economy, disease, politics, social media, transportation, and energy flows. It will usher in a new era of creativity and invention that will lead to unprecedented human flourishing. (Steve Omohundro, Ph.D.)

Here are some background materials for the talk:

Why 2017 May Be the Best Year Ever

Our world is changing

Explore the ongoing history of human civilization at the broadest level, through research and data visualization.

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Bill Gates: These 4 books make me feel optimistic about the world

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Assessing the Economic Impact of Artificial Intelligence

Critical Transitions in Nature and Society

Social Self-Organization: Agent-Based Simulations and Experiments to Study Emergent Social Behavior

Theme: AI for Mankind

6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Check In, Food & Networking
6:30 pm – 6:50 pm AI for Human Flourishing
Speaker: Steve Omohundro, Ph.D., President, Self-Aware Systems
6:50 pm – 7:10 pm (To be announced)
Speaker: David Ayman Shamma, Ph.D., Sr Research Scientist, FXPAL
7:10 pm – 7:30 pm AI-Powered Future Simulation in Life and Business
Speaker: Richard Shinn, Ph.D., AIBrain,
7:30 pm – 8:00 pm Discussion
8:00 pm – 8:30 pm Announcement & Networking

Social Media Storms Workshop: Steve Omohundro speaks on AI mitigation strategies

On October 10, 2018, Steve Omohundro will speak in the “Social Media Storms Workshop” put on by the Nautilus Institute, the Preventive Defense Project at Stanford, and Technology for Global Security. It is funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

We have seen the huge impact of “social media storms” across Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. Often these storms are driven by fake news, false alarms, extremist positions, and other forces of memetic contagion. How can we understand the dynamics? How can we detect when social media storms are happening? When they are dangerous? What are the best ways to dampen them down? To stop them? To guide them in a positive direction?

Steve Omohundro will discuss the role that AI has in creating fake news (eg. the DeepFakes synthetic video software), in forming memetic storms, in detecting these storms, and in stopping them.

Responsible AI/DI Summit 2018: Panel on “Balancing Organization Goals with Responsibility in Complex Decisions”

On September 19, 2018 from 3-7:30, Steve Omohundro will present at the “Responsible AI/DI Summit 2018” at SAP Labs in Palo Alto. The event is sponsored by SAP, Qantellia, and Carol Tong Consulting. There is an excellent group of presenters who will provide a multi-disciplinary perspective on these important issues. Steve will be in the panel on “Pulling it all Together: Balancing Organization Goals with Responsibility in Complex Decisions”:

The intention of the summit is to bring a sense of “trusteeship” to emerging powerful technologies. The decision methodologies of “Decision Intelligence” will be essential in guiding the deployment of AI and other powerful technologies.

Registration is free!

SAP and Google publish their ethical AI principles

I’m very excited that more companies and governments are thinking about the ethical issues involved with AI. Two great examples are SAP and Google. SAP just published their 7 ethical AI guidelines:

German firm’s 7 commandments for ethical AI

and Google published their AI principles a few months ago:

AI at Google: our principles

Final Edge Question: “Mathematical Beauty” by Steve Omohundro is a wonderful online version of “The Reality Club” and had a yearly tradition of inviting diverse thinkers to respond to stimulating questions over the 20 years from 1998 until 2018. For the final question, they invited a wide variety of people to give their own answer to: “What is the last question?”

Steve Omohundro’s response was:

How did our sense of mathematical beauty arise?

Other’s responses are here:

Steve is interested in the question of mathematical beauty because it represents an inner sense of what abstract models, knowledge, and inference is valuable that seems rather disconnected from ordinary evolutionary pressures. If we can fully understand the nature of mathematical beauty, I think it will shed light on unique aspects of human cognition.