Wtf is “The Thing”

💡this is a raw page taken from our “founding docs”

a revival of the bulletin board system- pre internet system, this is a post internet system. “building technology to remove technology so we can go back to nothingness” Revival of the original

^Find people who comment on “i wanna go off grid”

connecting through raw authenticity telling the story a billion different ways –

@Renee Shaw working on this today

Renee – The Thing is non-profit media studio that humanises machine learning with stories & education, building a free digital commons

The Thing is a non-profit media studio aiming to humanize the ML industry with creative, human-centric storytelling, educational material, and ultimately a digital commons container. Currently, the project operates as a podcast, blog, and educational repository that covers first principles of AI, zooming out to a big picture focus to answer the questions “what this is and why it matters to you.”

‘Alignment’ is farther away than ‘superintelligence,’ because it is nearly impossible to centralize all human values, methods, and perspectives to one idea or process. Solving for how we coordinate and curate the infinite amount of data, information, and decision-making processes will be the largest coordination problem humanity has ever faced. The Thing aims to build a container to observe this problem, and work together to come up with a container that holds critical tools, conversations, and community that helps curate towards better understandings and novel approaches.

What are we doing?

Step one for us is telling OUR STORY. Our voices matter, and we (co-founders) have worked hard in our own lives to learn that for ourselves. We want you to get to know us, learn about what drives us to show up and do this work. Hopefully it resonates. It’s okay if it doesn’t. We’re working to build a platform that showcases the voices, values, and methods of everyone- but it starts at home first.

Get to know Renee and Madisen. Jacks of all trades who know a thing or two about the human experience- the good, the bad, and the downright weird. With experience from inside the ML industry for many years, we realize what a bubble this technology has become, ironic because everyone in the world is both aware of and effected by it in some way. We’re by no means experts ourselves, so we’re creating media that helps our brains wrap around these complex ideas.

The project starts as an awareness campaign. What the fuck is ML? Where did it begin, where are we now, and what futures are projected based on that? We’ll take this from many angles- personal use, industry, philosophical, ethical, and the gritty technical. We want the everyday citizen to feel a part of the conversations currently taking place in the industry- from the open v closed source debate, to the 4D chess game that Microsoft keeps playing. You don’t have to be technical, or even use the technical jargon if you don’t want to. But we want you to know that you have access, and you are invited to the table.

We’ll interview top experts in the ML space to share their perspectives on what’s up. They’ll explain the relevance of current trends, values that they instill in their work, and possible futures they envision based on that. Our aim is to keep things at first principle. What is this and why does it matter?

We think this approach is useful both for the technical expert and the general audience. For the expert, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds as this industry is evolving at warp speed. No one person can possibly keep up with all the new releases and discoveries.

For a researcher, it is so easy to get lost in the process that sometimes the hardest thing to do is actually describe your project to a 5 year old. It humanizes the expert, re-focusing them back to first principles and their main drivers. For the average listener (non-technical presuming) the first-principles approach is of course helpful because it distills complex topics into something more consumable, something more reachable. AI is for everyone, let’s make everyone feel that way.

This project will also be a journal or log of sorts. We’re focused on solving the world’s largest coordination problem in the ways that we approach, understand and frame the tech. Before we can set any strict policy or definition, there needs to be space for exploration and experimentation. We’re data collecting, seeing glimmers of what could work and sure-as-shit signs of what doesn’t. We’ll record our findings along with our peers, hopefully it will be helpful in the long run.

@Madisen Taylor this is wonderful

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