Pathfinders Podcast tries to computationally tickle AI chatbots to help us think different

A new episode of the Pathfinders Podcast is now available wherever you get your podcasts. In the latest episode, we dance with the question: How can we prompt biased AI assistants to help us think different and imagine diverse tech futures?

In this episode, we invite all the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers to think different with us, like Apple used to advertise in the late 90ies. But instead of worshiping intelligence and individual genius, we want to dance with the stochastic imagination of generative AI tools. We wonder how we might collectively go beyond prompt engineering that’s focused on productivity and getting answers – fast! – to prompting diverse ways of knowing and being, while remaining mindful of current AI biases and limitations.

We reflect on our experiments with woo prompting and custom instructions, and share our observations on the power of conversational learning and language. Our experiments show that being an active participant in conversations with AI chatbots can yield more diverse outputs, but it’s important to keep steering outputs from the default, most statistically probable, to more diverse perspectives. We see role-playing and developing questioning skills as useful strategies for getting more diverse outputs.

We also reflect on what we learned from having chatbots chat with each other, what makes ChatGPT computationally tickled, and why we think AI assistants should get better at asking thought-provoking questions, rather than rushing to answers and people pleasing. We ponder on the time component of our conversations and how both humans and machines might benefit from having more time to engage in slower, systems 2 thinking to collaboratively explore our biases and assumptions instead of jumping to quick solutions.

You can find the full episode notes on Substack.

About the podcast

Pathfinders Podcast is a podcast for wondering wanderers, eager to explore paths to better tech futures, together. Each podcast episode is a meandering exploration inspired by the seeds planted in our Pathfinders Newmoonsletter at the beginning of the lunation cycle, and the paths illuminated during our Full Moon Gathering.

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