In an interesting plot twist, Burning Man has selected a 2018 theme that harkens back to Isaac Asimov’s 1950 collection of sci-fi short stories, I, ROBOT. While past themes on the playa have centered around more open-ended, vague concepts — such as 2017’s “Radical Ritual” theme — the 32nd annual BM theme is no less imaginative, yet more precise.
In the announcement post on the Burning Man Journal, the organization elaborates on these ethical guidelines:
At first glance, these ethical precepts seem simple enough; they are really not much different from the Golden Rule. But a team of robot psychologists, engaged in what we would today call quality control, soon discover certain glitches that become quite sinister.
In effect, the upcoming year’s theme will offer attendees the opportunity to explore Asimov’s assertion that “there could be no true morality without emotion,” while exploring the connection “between human consciousness and abstract calculation.” On thing remains certain: no one likes an angry robot.
Art installations are invited to “focus on the many forms of artificial intelligence that permeate our lives; from the humble algorithm and its subroutines that sift us, sort us and surveil us, to automated forms of labor that supplant us.”
Once conceptualized, who knows how the humans will actualize the theme in the largest pop-up playground city in the world.<
Featured photos courtesy of Playaman.
Via: Burning Man Journal