Rage Inside the Machine: an insightful, brilliant critique of AI's computer science, sociology, philosophy and economics

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/27/rage-inside-the-machine-an-in.html


I’m all over this one… it might have to be in a bit though.
I’ve this friend, and well…
… light books are best just now.


ADAPT OR… don’t.

IMO “AI” is still kind of a misnomer, because good as computers are at many tasks (notably now including pattern recognition), they are not really accomplishing them by emulating human brains, despite the term “neural net.” One of the principal features of human intelligence is that the brain is connected to the body. I think Kant laid this out quite clearly. He talks in the Critique of Pure Reason quite a bit about the fact that we’re embodied and that defines and limits what our consciousness is. Biologically most of what the brain does is interact with the body and the brain is influenced by bodily states, hormones, and the like. So we have in fiction the idea of an AI as a disembodied intelligence, but in fiction also pretty often AIs have motives and purposes, and the like, so they act like our embodied brains, too. I think there’s some confusion there and there’s still a good gulf between our current smart automated systems and what we are. In fact the automated systems are different from us and not intended to become what we are … that they could do that I suppose might be possible, but that could be a myth too, a modern-day version of Frankenstein.


As I say at the end of the book, I think the term Neal Stephenson used in The Diamond Age is better: pseudo-intelligence.

This quote from the book really nails it, as well, IMHO:

“‘Nell,’ the Constable continued, indicating through his tone of voice that the lesson was concluding, ‘the difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people—and this is true whether or not they are well-educated—is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations—in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.’”


Whoa - totally did not see the author responding in this thread coming… every once in a while, I am reminded why I like BB so much…


This bias inherent in AI? Serves to make the world a LOT meaner. And it does it in a passive and subtle way. So we don’t even notice. It reinforces our prejudices and our differences. Pretty astute thinking there, Dr. Smith.

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