Why AI won’t really replace people, despite its bad press
|March 12, 2017||Posted by News under Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Design|
From Jerry Kaplan at Technology Review:
Artificial intelligence, it seems, has a PR problem. While it’s true that today’s machines can credibly perform many tasks (playing chess, driving cars) that were once reserved for humans, that doesn’t mean that the machines are growing more intelligent and ambitious. It just means they’re doing what we built them to do.
The robots may be coming, but they are not coming for us—because there is no “they.” Machines are not people, and there’s no persuasive evidence that they are on a path toward sentience.
We’ve been replacing skilled and knowledgeable workers for centuries, but the machines don’t aspire to better jobs and higher employment. Jacquard looms replaced expert needleworkers in the 19th century, but these remarkable devices—programmed with punch cards for a myriad of fabric patterns—didn’t spell doom for dressmakers and tailors. Until the mid-20th century we relied on our best and brightest to do arithmetic—being a “calculator” used to be a highly respected profession. Now that comparably capable devices are given away as promotional trinkets at trade shows, the mathematically minded among us can focus on tasks that require broader skills, like statistical analysis. Soon, your car will be able to drive you to the office upon command, but you don’t have to worry about it signing up with Uber to make a few extra bucks for gas while you’re in a staff meeting (unless you instruct it to). More.
But AI can’t have a PR consultant because it wouldn’t know it had a problem.
See also: Crappy AI is more likely to kill us than super AI
Steve Fuller: Humans will merge with AI
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