IP-AI • MAY 29, 2019
How do we Indigenously Interact with AI?
What is indigenous about how you interact with AI?
Okay, aloha my name is Kekuhi Kealiikanakaoleohaililani. I am from Hilo from the island of Hawaii, so that's Southeast of here. My assumption is that artificial intelligence is just an extension of the human curiosity. And that I engage it every day and so do my children.
And then if that's the case then I assume that I have to create a relationship to it. That's the kind of mindset I came here with, cause I had to get a grip on something. I'm just super curious,is just how I entered this space. And if there is a challenge to bridge Hawaii life ways and some other new component of life.
My instinct is to start building the bridge. We started talking about, in the first hour, where we come from, and who we are in that community. And then I think we made the distinction about what is not Indigenous about how we interact with AI, and what is Indigenous about that.
And then I think as we became a little bit more comfortable with each other, we began to be okay with talking about, okay then if what we're looking towards is some ... An Indigenous way of having a relationship with AI, then I think we have to be okay with talking about some of our shared values. And I sort of think that's where we are right now. The Hawaii people are thinking through that and the ... The Aboriginal peoples thinking through that and Māori peoples are thinking through that. And I didn't know if we've gotten anywhere besides, the ... I think the big progression is that we're creating a new network.
Which to me is not much different from AI the interface. Let me just talk about some of the things that I've learned here, in the collective. I've learned that we all have the value of sort of inseparability with the elemental-scape. And the other thing I've learned is that we've all inherited particular cosmologies, that then sort of frame our relationship to that landscape. And the seascape and the skyscape, including the dream scape. So, if we could begin to approach AI through that story, give it a name—everything that's meaningful to us has either a name or a title or it's named a major element in the landscape, you know—and create its cosmology, because then I think our relationship with the AI structure, no matter what kind it is, we can claim as almost familial.
And I think in that way we can begin to build an Aboriginal consciousness towards our relationship with AI. And then all that requires, then, is assigning names to the parts. Like what’s the name of the mineral that we begin to use to construct the actual thing? The board, the interface; what’s the name of the electricity that we have to infuse into that, to the material thing?
What's the name of the silica? That when all of these parts put together creates this new sort of extension of ourselves. I don't think it's any different from having created a canoe or a net or a dream weaver or a tattoo for that matter. I think we’re in a good space. I think people know enough about themselves and their place that we can come to that. I don't know if two days is enough for that conversation. But here you go, we began this symposium with an introduction that included the regular things who I am, where I come from, what is my culture, what is my tribe.
So, the reality is, is there an Indigenous world? And is there a colonized world? Or are we even permeable to the fact that as soon as you decolonize sovereignty in your own mind, there's no doubt that you can influence your family and your community and it may not be your family or community nearby you. I mean our stories aren't any different from Star Wars; it's about the hero who has to leave his community, comes out of his community, because there's only one way of thinking there.
Moves out into not just another island or another continent. He moves to another place in the universe, has his journeys, and is able to reintegrate. Now, I'm sure you have stories like that from your space—we have tons. Odysseus is another very cool example of how the human spirit is able to shift; we have to evolve. Traditions didn't become traditions because they were static. Our stories are continually changing. You cannot tell me that your grandmother told the story exactly as she heard it from your great grandparents, it’s impossible. It's impossible because it's filtering through another body. There we are: we recreate the story, and if we can recreate the story, then we can do it in our own spirit. It's that central piece that I ... That's where I like to live. 10 years ago it was difficult to live there, it was challenging, and now it’s the norm. I think coherence consumes incoherence. I think we have the power—as long as we maintain our relationships with the elemental world and ourself—I think we have the power to consume incoherence around us.
And we just have to stop thinking that, just stop thinking that we’re only colonized, and decide who we are. And then take over the world!
Aloha to you. My paternal family ties are to Keleikini of Kaua’i, Nauoho of Hana, Maui. My maternal family ties are to Ahiena of Puna, Kealiikanakaole of Ka’u, and Kanaele-Kenao of Kohala.
The 1/4 of me that is not Hawai‘i comes from beyond the Hawaii horizon reaching back to Milfordhaven, Wales. My lineage taps into the migratory spirit of the Pele, the movement and the surfacing of magma. This relationship to the building of terrafirma extends my lineage to the building of the natural environment - the mountains, forests, and springs; I am also the builder of heiau & sacred spaces where people connect to their environmental selves.
How do I know? The information is the fabric of our names. My passions are manifest through these lineal connections. I am creator & owner of Lonoa Honua a business entity that houses Hālau ‘Ōhi‘a, the first full service Hawai‘i Stewardship Training programs in Hawai‘i; Ulu Ka ‘Ōhi‘a, Hula-Consciousness Seminar, and other like programs. I am a Kumu Hula ritually ‘uniki of Halau O Kekuhi. I was Assistant Professor of Hawaii Life Way at Hawaii Community College. I teach others how to engage in their own connection to the Hawaii landscape; I sing, compose, chant, dance and I am in love with Hilo. Learning about and engaging with my relations from Hawaiinui (this Hawaii) to Hawaii-iki (the Hawaii within) to, Hawaiipāmamao (and the Hawaii beyond the horizon), excites me! Cultivating relationships and rediscovering ecological connections for myself and others is my gift and my passion.
I am KekuhikuhipuuoneonaaliioKohala Kanae Kanahele Kealiikanakaoleohaililani. Mo‘opuna to the fire and the forest. Granddaughter of Edith Kekuhi & Luka Kanakaole, daughter of Pualani Kanakaole & Edward Kanahele, mother of Kaumakaiwa, Ulumauahi, Kauilanui, Keahika‘ai‘ohelo and Kekuhi Haililani, wife of Taupouri Tangarō, and I am Tutu to Hinamanoulua‘e, Kauahi Kauwe, and Nakapuahi Kamakaohua.
The Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence (IP-AI) workshops are founded by Old Ways, New, and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. This work is funded by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Old Ways, New, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Concordia University Research Chair in Computational Media and the Indigenous Future Imaginary.
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