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We are excited to have two inspiring keynote talks!

Opening Keynote

Kate Crawford: Rematerializing AI

There has been a recent spike in concern about existential risk from artificial general intelligence, or AGI. This fear, associated with terms such as “X-risk,” and “the singularity,” focuses on the hypothetical possibility of creating a machine intelligence that will ultimately eliminate the human race. But the loudest alarmists about existential risk are also the architects of the technology they warn against. By sustaining this paradox, they are reaping unprecedented financial investment and political power. In the shadow of this remote risk, a slowly-unfolding reality is being obscured: how actually-existing AI is already causing lasting forms of harm. In this talk, Prof. Crawford will address the material impacts of actually-existing AI across three domains: ecological, economic, and electoral.

Kate Crawford
Kate Crawford

Professor Kate Crawford is a Research Professor at USC Annenberg in Los Angeles, a Senior Principal Researcher at MSR in New York, an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, and the inaugural Visiting Chair for AI and Justice at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her latest book, Atlas of AI (Yale, 2021) won the Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology, the ASSI&T Best Information Science Book Award, and was named one of the best books in 2021 by New Scientist and the Financial Times.

Over her twenty-year research career, she has also produced award-winning creative collaborations and visual investigations, including her project Anatomy of an AI System with Vladan Joler and her collaboration with the artist Trevor Paglen, Excavating AI. Her latest exhibition, Calculating Empires: A Genealogy of Technology and Power 1500-2025, opened in Milan in 2023. She has advised policy makers in the United Nations, the White House, and the European Parliament, and she currently leads the Knowing Machines Project, an international research collaboration that investigates the foundations of machine learning.

Find Kate at https://www.katecrawford.net/.

Closing Keynote

Samuel M. ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa Gon III: Modeling the Hawaiian Islands as a Socioecological Microcosm of the World — WHAT IF…

The Hawaiian Islands have the distinction of being the most isolated high island archipelago on Earth. The range of elevation and moisture settings, from deserts to arguably the wettest spot on Earth, and from sea level to snow-capped alpine summits nearly 14,000 feet above, results in the islands bearing more ecological lifezones than any other place of equal size on the planet. It can be argued that any terrestrial organism on Earth could find its optimal niche, its “sweet spot” somewhere in the islands. The huge range of potential habitats and the profound isolation imposed by the barrier of thousands of kilometers of surrounding ocean resulted in the evolution of life forms and ecosystems that are unique on the planet and textbook examples of evolutionary process. This in turn provided huge opportunities for the first humans to discover and live in the islands, native Hawaiians, a Polynesian people that had become adapted to life on islands for millennia prior to their occupation in Hawaiʻi. The resulting socioecological system that developed in the 1000 years that Hawaiians lived here before contact with the Western World, allowed for the development of one of the pinnacles of Polynesian societies, yet, when we combined geospatial modeling, archeological data, phytoecological modeling, and pre-contact oral traditional accounts, we found that Hawaiian society achieved population densities rivaling those of today,100% self-sufficient, and yet imparting a remarkably small ecological footprint. In facing todayʻs challenges in Global Sustainability and deteriorating ecosystems worldwide, land and sea, what lessons and global models can arise from 1000 years of sustainable island existence? What can island sustainability in Hawaiʻi tell us about a future sustainable existence on Island Earth?

Peter Kariuki
Samuel M. ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa Gon III

Sam ʻOhukaniʻōhiʻa Gon III is Senior Scientist and Cultural Advisor for The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi & Palmyra. Sam is also an affiliate graduate faculty member in the University of Hawaiʻi.

Sam’s expertise is in Hawaiian terrestrial ecosystems and species and in biocultural conservation, which strives to “mainstream” Hawaiian knowledge, values and practice into conventional conservation efforts, in Hawaiʻi and globally. Conventionally trained as a conservation biologist, Sam was also traditionally trained by a master of Hawaiian chant and ceremony and underwent the ʻūniki huʻelepo (rite of passage) as a kahuna kākalaleo and kumu of oli in the hālau, Nā Waʻa Lālani Kāhuna o Puʻu Koholā – a responsibility passed to him by his late teacher. As an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) commissioner, Sam focuses on creating and strengthening indigenous membership and participation in international conservation, an evolving and growing theme in recent World Conservation Congresses in Hawaiʻi (2016) and Marseille (2021).

Find Sam on LinkedIn.