> Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer _
“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More
My Readercon Schedule

I’ll be attending Readercon this July 11-14! Here’s my schedule in case you’d like to come to my reading or panels:

Reading: Matthew Kressel
Fri 4:00 PM, Sylvanus Thayer

Compassionate AI
Amal El-Mohtar (mod), Carlos Hernandez, Matthew Kressel, Natalie Luhrs, Kestrell Verlager
Sat 10:00 AM, Salon 4
In a 2018 tweet, Amal El-Mohtar described the artificial intelligences in Martha Wells’s Murderbot series and in Jeph Jacques’s Questionable Content webcomic as “gorgeously compassionate.” This is a reversal of the long-running trope in SF of characterizing AI as cold, scheming, and murderous. Where else can readers find compassionate AI, and what makes these depictions so vital and appealing?

Whatever Happened with That Singularity Thing?
Ruthanna Emrys, Matthew Kressel, Jess Nevins, John O’Neil, Romie Stott (mod)
Sat 11:00 AM, Salon 3
The development of artificial superintelligence doesn’t seem to have brought about the sudden and unfathomable changes to human civilization that so many people hypothesized. Is the singularity yet to come? What other possibilities are being imagined for futures in which humans and AIs mingle and merge?

Making First Contact with Your Local Speculative Fiction Community
Rob Cameron, Crystal M. Huff, Matthew Kressel (mod), Jim LeMay, Lauren Roy
Sun 12:00 PM, Salon A
Readercon and other national conventions are great, but what’s happening in your backyard? Local cons, reading events, workshops, classes, and critique groups are just a few examples of places where you might find other speculative fiction fans. If those things don’t exist near you, it might be time to create them! Panelists will share their experiences with joining and building in-person fannish communities, including joys, perils, and practical advice.


Nebula Conference

I’ll be attending the 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania from May 17-20th, 2018. And I’ll be doing panels and podcasts and autographs and (hopefully!) doing some sightseeing around Pittsburgh, since I’ve never visited the city. Here’s my official schedule:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Users Guide to Writers’ Workshops, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Speakers: Mur Lafferty • Fran Wilde • Curtis C. Chen (Curtis C. Chen) • Matthew Kressel (Tyrell Corporation) • John Kessel, Moderators: James Patrick Kelly
Marquis B

Health and Happiness for Writers, 2:30pm – 3:30pm, Speakers: Rekka Jay (writing as R J Theodore) • Lara Elena Donnelly (Ms.) • Matthew Kressel (Tyrell Corporation) • Patrick Rothfuss
Moderators: Theodora Goss
Marquis B

Skynet, Matrix, Other: Where Will AI Lead Us?, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Speakers: Kenneth Chiacchia (Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center) • David D. Levine • PJ Manney (PJ Manney) • Matthew Kressel (Tyrell Corporation)Moderators: Martha Wells
Marquis B

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mass Autographing, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Sam Linton Grand Ballroom

Hope to see all you crazy cats there!


Deciding Which Humans AIs Should Kill

Humans rarely have time to make ethical choices before car accidents

First, read this article, “What Would the Average Human Do?” at The Outline. I’ll wait here.

Finished? Great!

So: it sounds scary, teaching some mindless AI program to execute an ethical routine that coldly calculates who should live and who should die, like a digital Unetaneh Tokef. But it shouldn’t, because this is exactly the same thing we do with children. We impart our cultural values and morals onto our offspring, and we hope that when the time comes, they will make the same ethical choices we would.

Yes, the ethical sampling pool in the above article may have been self-selected, but isn’t it always true that, when imparting values onto children, the pool is small? Who imparts ethical values onto children? It’s the ones closest to them: their parents, their closest friends, their teachers. Maybe a few significant persons in the community such as a rabbi, priest, or friend. All they are doing differently with AI is transferring that ethical knowledge onto an algorithm, for quick access.

The other important thing to point out is that in the milliseconds of reaction time a human being has to decide how to react in an accident, they are not pondering a long Talmudic list of ethical dilemmas, so that they may decide on the best course of action. They are slamming on the breaks, they are swerving, and reacting primarily from instinct. Yes, that instinct can be affected by one’s morals, but in general an AI performing this ethical calculation can do so much faster and in much more depth than any human could. By imparting our ethical codes into a machine, we actually make the world more ethical (and safer) than if a human was behind the wheel.

Yes, my ethical code may not overlap 100% with yours, and probably doesn’t overlap much at all with someone from ISIS, but in any society, there is usually a strong general consensus about what is considered ethical behavior. So for example, cars in Italy should have ethical sampling from mainly Italians. Cars in Saudi Arabia, from Saudi Arabians. Etc. At the end of the day, these machines will just be extensions of us. There is no cold, brutal calculation here. These are our values expanded into the world.

We should welcome this.    

 


“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More