Intelligent machines: The great AI paradox


Brian Bergstein wrote this op-ed for Technology Review a couple of weeks ago (December 17th to be excact). However, it remains food for thought. Even if are you still stuffed from all the AI discussions at the Christmas dinner table.

"Don’t worry about supersmart AI eliminating all the jobs. That’s just a distraction from the problems even relatively dumb computers are causing.

You’ve probably heard versions of each of the following ideas.

  1. With computers becoming remarkably adept at driving, understanding speech, and other tasks, more jobs could soon be automated than society is prepared to handle.

  2. Improvements in computers’ skills will stack up until machines are far smarter than people. This “superintelligence” will largely make human labor unnecessary. In fact, we’d better hope that machines don’t eliminate us altogether, either accidentally or on purpose."

"This is tricky. Even though the first scenario is already under way, it won’t necessarily lead to the second one. That second idea, despite being an obsession of some very knowledgeable and thoughtful people, is based on huge assumptions. If anything, it’s a diversion from taking more responsibility for the effects of today’s level of automation and dealing with the concentration of power in the technology industry.

To really see what’s going on, we have to be clear on what has been achieved—and what remains far from solved—in artificial intelligence."

Although mr. Bergstein tries not to be too overly critical, he does address a point commonly overlooked in today's AI hype. Regardless of who's side you're on we urge you to a least give this article a try.