Dealing with Reality – Facilitating and Leading Leaders (was: Because We Matter: Engaging with AI Governance)

This is a supplement to yesterday's blogpost What leaders are actually for (was: Silencing the voices of people silencing voices)  It consists of:
  • Slides for my ICLR AI for Social Good talk about engaging in AI governance, titled Dealing with Reality – Facilitating and Leading Leaders (that's now a link to the actual talk, for the slides click "Slides"; the talk references a bunch of stuff in the previous talk by Jack Clark on responsible AI companies) The title was supposed to have been "Because We Matter: Engaging with AI Governance" and the content was still about that, but as I documented yesterday I got thinking more about what happened with Google ATEC. So I put down three slides on leadership, one on mattering, then the exact talk I'd given to the OSCE/ASEAN biannual meeting on Cybersecurity the week before (in Seoul, South Korea). I often these days show developers exactly the slides I've recently shown policy makers, and then talk about the slides at the meta level about how that works and what policy makers care about.
  • Links to three sources that informed my thinking behind those first three slides:
    • As I mentioned yesterday, I started explicitly from what Fred Brooks says about leadership and leading in The Mythical Man Month. That's about programming, yet it was written way back in the 1970s when we still said "programmer/he/man." Don't f0rget, women have only been able to vote for a century, less long than some people have been alive. Let's hope that there really is an arc of the moral universe and this hasn't been some weird blip.
    • Veil of ignorance arguments, here in reverse of their usual form – as Brooks says, being a leader is just a role, and as I said at ICLR it's exactly like going viral. It might happen to any of us, though it's more likely for some than others.
    • Joy of destruction – I've talked about this more on twitter, but it's related to my work on antisocial punishment. I've recently come to realise that this was what Freud was actually talking about when he talked about the death drive – I thought he'd been talking about a more suicidal death wish, based on what my lecturers had told me at U of Chicago. But then I read the Penguin "great ideas" version of Civilisation and Its Discontents.
From a contemporaneous tweet by Nikolas Ott, click to see it.