San Francisco’s “Misalignment Museum” is a temporary exhibit which displays the potential dangers of artificial intelligence (AI). The exhibit imagines a post-apocalyptic world where artificial general intelligence (AGI) has destroyed most of humanity. The exhibits have AI disburse pithy observations on the visitors that cross into its line of vision. The exhibit’s curator, Audrey Kim, hopes to trigger a reflection on the dangers of going too far too quickly with advances in AI.
AI is progressing so fast it is difficult to keep up with. Startups are hot on the trail of the AGI holy grail. Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, has said AGI, done right, can “elevate humanity” and change the “limits of possibilities.” Kim wants to weigh the pros and cons of AI to trigger conversations with the general public. Concerns over the safety of AI have mainly occurred on Twitter within niche tech circles.
Kim wants to present the potential dangers of AI in an accessible form. Kim used to work for autonomous vehicle company Cruise, where she worked on technology which “could reduce the number of accidents due to human error,” but also presented risks. The exhibit occupies a small space in San Francisco’s Mission neighbourhood, but Kim hopes to make it permanent.
The lower floor of the exhibition is dedicated to AI as a nightmarish dystopia. One exhibit is an AI-generated and totally fake dialogue between the philosopher Slavoj Zizek and the filmmaker Werner Herzog. The “Infinite Conversation” is a meditation on deep fakes, the latest disinformation weapon online. Kim was astonished that many of the technologies presented during the five-month project seem almost primitive.