Four social media posts for the IP//AI UNESCO Conclusion, posted on Instagram 21 December 2021

IP//AI UNESCO Conclusion, posted on ANAT’s Instagram profile, 21 December 2021.

Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence Prototype 2021

ANAT was honoured and excited to support Old Ways, New to work with practitioners in the development of the Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence (IP//AI) Prototype in 2021.

READ Out of the Black Box: Indigenous protocols for AI
Authors: Angie Abdilla, Megan Kelleher, Rick Shaw, Tyson Yunkaporta
Published: 2021

The fourth iteration of the Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence body of work entailed the development of a prototype, informed by the work produced within the IP//AI Incubator, 2021. Old Ways, New brought core participants from the IP//AI Inc. into a discrete process that further developed and releaseed practical and tangible ways to engage with the body of research culminating over three years. Key to this next iteration of the work was the framing and application of the Indigenous protocols devised as part of the IP//AI Inc.

Indigenous protocols are The repetition of an action till it becomes the norm (Mary Graham). The Indigenous Protocols devised are informed by the law, protocols and design principles that maintained Country and kinship systems over thousands of years, since time immemorial. IP//AI are vital to support sustainability in the growth of sectors by utilising AI through past/future modelling such as governance, trade, natural resource management, social services, health, education and employment. However, there is a multitude of other applications yet to be revealed.

In the development of the IP//AI prototype we used the basis of an Indigenous kinship system’s marriage laws as the fundamental algorithm/s inherent to a range of AI subsets and applications. More specifically, the prototype will provide significant development in the design of neural networks and deep learning algorithms for use in the field of genetic computing and other possible applications.

Old Ways, New are supporting Indigenous creative practitioners, researchers and technologists to realise how Indigenous protocols can inform Artificial Intelligence. The prototype practitioners will play a pivotal role in conceptualising and designing the future of AI from the social and environmental principles integral in our living cultural practices, embodied by Caring for Country, Caring for Kin.

The work supported by ANAT will provide funding to support Indigenous participants Tyson Yunkaporta, Megan Kelleher and Rick Shaw from diverse cultural and technology practices.

Together with Old Ways, New, ANAT promoted the developments and outcomes of the experience. These were shared with our networks via Instagram, in nine installments over the final weeks of 2021.

David Mowaljarlai, map of trade routes and storylines linking Aboriginal nations across Australia.

David Mowaljarlai, map of trade routes and storylines linking Aboriginal nations across Australia.

David Mowaljarlai’s 1993 map of trade routes and Storylines linking Aboriginal nations across Australia. Ngarinyin Elder David Mowaljarlai (1928 – 1997) from the Northern Kimberley coastal region illustrates the Storylines and trade route map which he named ‘Bandaya’.

Indigenous people on the banks of Victoria’s Murray River created fishing machines made from plant fibre and springy sticks. The device used the energy of the flowing river to ensnare fish and sling them up onto the banks of the river, without any handling by the operator. 176 years later, non-Indigenous peoples have caught onto autonomous machines
Tyson Yunkaporta.

Read Old Way’s, New’s full Smith Journal article on the Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence workshops here. The Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence Incubator is the second iteration of the IP AI initiative.

Old Way’s, New’s Angie Abdilla with Tyson Yunkaporta and Megan Kelleher bring together a deadly group of blackfellas from diverse cultural practices to collaborate with international Indigenous technologists and leading industry experts such as Genevieve Bell to rethink AI systems. ANAT

“The stories we tell ourselves about AI reflect our cultural context in ways we hardly realise until we shine a light on them. This incubator will be an important program to develop Indigenous-led narratives, art and protocols about AI. It is an exhilarating initiative!”
— Genevieve Bell.