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Posts Tagged ‘artificial intelligence’

Human Intelligence is the “mental quality that consists of the abilities to learn from experience, adapt to new situations, understand and handle abstract concepts, and use knowledge to manipulate one’s environment” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) anywhere near able to match that? The hype on AI is completely undeserved. What we call AI is no more than a very smart algorithm that can perform a single activity. AI has been applied to self-driving cars and to voice recognition, for instance. Is that intelligence? The same algorithm is not capable of doing something that almost any adult human being performs routinely: driving his car while, at the same time, understanding the news from the radio and reacting to both inputs accordingly.

Why call “intelligence” something that is no more than routine activity? Even if it is very amazing routine activity for a NON-INTELLIGENT ENTITY.

The above outburst has been prompted by a couple of letters to the editor in the July 4th issue of The Economist (https://www.economist.com/letters/2020/07/04/letters-to-the-editor) that I strongly recommend reading.

I am not against the use of computing power in order to facilitate human activities. What I resent is the misuse of words in order to make things look more important than they are. The use of “Artificial Intelligence” is making some people believe that we are going to be taken over by computers. Others think that AI is going to help us to jump to a new dimension. That our jobs are in jeopardy and that we will be slaves of the “Big Brother” supercomputer. That we well no longer need physicians since AI will solve anything. That feeling, precisely now when the Covid-19 pandemic is ravaging the world, is not something that we need; human intelligence will never be replaced by an algorithm, no matter how complex it is.

It would be good if we could find another word for “Artificial Intelligence”. One word that implies that human beings are needed to program, direct and feed the algorithms involved in the activities that the computer performs. One word that implies that the activity is meant to make life easy by performing routine tasks, so that we can use our time to do INTELIGENT THINGS.

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