Prof Daniel Little of the University of Michigan-Dearborn speaks at the Asian Network for the Philosophy of the Social Sciences 2033 event at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication, Thammasat University.Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be both an opportunity and a threat, but it can never duplicate social media users and become self-aware, a forum was told.
Academics and philosophers from around the world recently gathered at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus for the third conference of the Asian Network for Philosophy of Social Science (ANPOSS).
The biannual conference opens the floor for students and professionals in philosophy and social sciences to discuss their research and expand their knowledge in a rapidly changing social context.
The conference was led by Prof Daniel Little of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. His approach to ontological individualism suggests a mutual influence between society and individuals.
She said women in Iran are influencing Iranian society in their protest against the wearing of the hijab. As they gain supporters, they demonstrate how individuals can cause change in society through self-presentation, she said.
The influence is not limited to a specific form, although the implication varies according to cultural context, experience and structural change, he said.
Phanomkorn Yothasorn, director of Thammasat University’s Bachelor of Arts Program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, told the forum that self-awareness is central to one’s existence and that social media users and their online profiles should be viewed separately.
He said Facebook encourages netizens to use their own name and connect with friends for a more realistic online experience.
Users sign up for an account and create their own profile content, he said. Like an empty bamboo ball, the outer layer is the online profile while the real human experience is empty, she said.
When asked whether online profiling might affect oneself, Professor Phanomkorn said her definition of experience differs from the usual explanation.
“It’s about being aware of ourselves,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you take content from others.”
There can be several representations of a person online, but there can only be one with “real experience,” he said, meaning that attention should be directed to the user’s true identity, and social media users are judged by the frequency of interactions and expressions.
“But ultimately, as an individual, whether online or offline, you are the same,” she said. “The self can be expanded, but without it you will not be outdone.”
The conference also touched on the possibility of AI becoming self-aware or “conscious” and eventually replacing humans at work. “For some, consciousness means you know you exist,” said Yukti Mukdawijita, another Thammasat University professor. “Otherwise, it could represent a human extension instead of its own existence.”
Meanwhile, Peng Bi Qi, a PhD candidate at Nankai University, said the evolving relationship between humans and artificial intelligence has prompted us to examine the boundaries of selfhood and how our identities intertwine with the our work and our purpose.
The current man-made system fails to incorporate vital elements that characterize individuality, including subjective consciousness, self-reflection, and subjective feelings. He said that AI face recognition technology is widely used in various domains, but it cannot recognize a human’s rich and subjective experience.
“Although AI algorithms can identify faces and match them with data, they don’t have an understanding of the individual’s experience, emotions or narrative associated with their face,” he said.
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