Volume 9, Issue 3, September/December 2020
, Tosin Adeate
Second-Wave AI and Afro-Existential Norms
The idea of afro-existentialism connotes how Africans make sense of living and the meaning and meaninglessness attached to human existence. Different phenomena inform the way humans interpret existence, and one of such in the contemporary period, with great influence on Africans, is human involvement with non-human intelligence (AI), in its different eruptions. This paper focuses on the second-wave AI, which is a period of improved simulation of natural intelligence, whose singularity principle hypothesizes individualist motives. The paper asks, to what extent do Afro-existential norms accommodate second-wave AI? Partly in disagreement with the claim that AI is for everyone, we argue that second-wave artificial intelligence weakly adapts to Afro-existential practices, which is largely communal, emphasizing shared experience. We justify this claim by arguing that Western ethical patterns, which inform the features of the second-wave AI such as statistical patterns, smart algorithm, specialized hardware, and big data sets, emerge from individualist notions. This paper argues that second-wave AI trends do not reflect African norms of existence being factored into ordering algorithmic patterns that set up AI systems and programs. We infer that Afro-existential practices unsettles with the individualist principle which underlines second-wave AI and therefore, a conversation around the development and application of communal interpretation of AI is important.