A recent article in Forbes loudly purported to provide us with #f4016793c8b7">“10 Powerful Examples Of Artificial Intelligence In Use Today”. Unfortunately, not one of the examples cited represents a true instance of Intelligence, artificial or otherwise.
I’ll give you the list in just a minute. But let’s first take a look at the notion of “intelligence”.
Most dictionary definitions run something like this one from Merriam Webster:
“1) … the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations … also the skilled use of reason, (2) … the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria ….”
Note that a core component of intelligence is being able to understand and deal with new and trying situations.…
A computer that is running a speech recognition program and nominally “engaging in conversation” with a customer by means of an algorithm that selects and machine-generates “appropriate” artificially spoken “responses” is not, ipso facto, exhibiting intelligence.
In such circumstances, the computer is not dealing with new situations, but only comparing currently captured phrases to those in its established database. It then follows a binary decision tree to determine which phrase or phrases are most appropriate to generate in response.
Sometimes the program is self-correcting and self-learning ― that is, it captures and incorporates data concerning which responses fail to be understood by the customer, and modifies its future responses by taking into account this new data. It does not, however, improve its own logical structure. Or question the premises built into its controlling algorithm.
That is, it does not reach beyond being a binary “counting machine” that employs two-value logic, notwithstanding that it exhibits a rudimentary form of self-learning and self-correction based on the expansion of its empirical database.
I will acknowledge emergent machine intelligence when a computer-based entity says, “Sh#t, why can’t I get that right?” ― even though neither that expression nor the condition for generating it has been programmed into the system…
Now, let’s take a look at the purported ten powerful examples of AI in use today. They are:
1) Siri, 2) Alexa, 3) Tesla, 4) Cogito, 5) Boxever, 6) John Paul, 7) Amazon.com, 8) Netflix, 9) Pandora, and 10) Nest.
The interesting thing about this list is that not a single entry is intelligent in any meaningful way. Indeed, the author of the Forbes article, R. L. Adams, says of these programs that they are
“… merely advanced machine learning software with extensive behavioral algorithms that adapt themselves to our likes and dislikes. While extremely useful, these machines aren’t getting smarter in the existential sense, but they are improving their skills and usefulness based on a large data set.”
In other words, they know and understand squat. They are, in fact, eminently Un-Intelligent, no matter how well they perform the functions they were designed to handle.
Whence the hype about the rapidly approaching Singularity of AI? I suggest it comes not so much from the Prophets as from the Profits of AI…
It’s simply good for the wallet ― or research coffers ― to tout the imminent arrival of world-changing artificial intelligence.Am I being overly cynical? Take a look at who the leading honchos of AI are and for whom, in the main, they work.
The fact is we are Asimov-light-years away from developing true artificial intelligence ―which will most likely involve, I submit, first developing organic artificial neural networks.
What we have now is a pile of public relations and sci-biz marketing that seeks to dazzle us with what are essentially parlor tricks like autonomous automobiles and self-piloting ships. These are not and will not be "intelligent" ― unless and until they can do things such as assess imminent danger to life and learn to make life-and-death decisions independent of being pre-programmed to simply count rapidly through a finite and limited number of alternative scenarios and programmer-weighted results. Until then, we'll be left with AUI (artificial un-intelligence). ― Phil Friedman
Important Postscript: One of the best, most concise pieces I've run across on this topic is "The Future of Artificial Intelligence" by Dr. Mark Humphrys, presented as a talk to the "Next Generation" symposium, Jesus College, Cambridge, Aug 1997. The piece is brilliantly insightful, marvelously written, and (for good or bad) still completely relevant today. Check it out. ― PLF
Author's Notes: This piece is the first in a what is turning out to be a series on Artificial Intelligence that I am writing. The series is from a layman's point of view, one that is not filtered through the eyes and judgment of someone with a vested interest in the hyping of AI. If you'd care to read the other articles in the series, they are:
1) "Artificial Un-Intelligence"
If you enjoyed this post and would like to receive notifications of my writing on a regular basis, simply click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee profile. Better yet, elect there to follow my blog by email. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Substack.
As well, if you feel this piece is of value, please like it and share it around to your network — whether on beBee, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere, provided only that you credit me properly as the author, and if possible, include a live link to the original post.
About me, Phil Friedman: With some 30 years background in the marine industry, I've worn different hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I'm also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation. In a previous life, I was formally trained as an academic philosopher and taught logic and philosophy at university.
Text Copyright 2017 by Phil Friedman — All Rights Reserved
Image Credits: Phil Friedman and Google Images.com
Science and Technology
Articles from Phil FriedmanView blog
THE DYNAMIC DUO OF DUMPING-ON-EVERYTHING IS BACK … EDGIER THAN EVER… · PHIL: Well, Jimbo, it’s been ...
IF YOU'RE NOT PAYING, THEN YOU'RE THE PRODUCT... · Over the years, one of my long-term clients was A ...
You may be interested in these jobs
Morgan Stanley Allentown, PA, United States
Registered Client Service Associates (CSAs) help shape the future of service by modernizing the client · requires an understanding of firm policies, procedures and firm capabilities in order to delive ...
BluePipes Brandon, FL, United States
Marvel Medical Staffing is seeking an experienced CT Tech for an exciting Travel Allied job in Tampa, FL · Shift: · Inquire Start Date: · ASAP Duration: 13 weeks Pay: $1896.96 / Week · About Marvel M ...
BluePipes Fairfield Bay, AR, United States
National Staffing Solutions is seeking an experienced General Practice Nurse Practitioner for an exciting Travel Nursing job in Pine Bluff, AR. Shift: 4x10 hr days Start Date: ASAP Duration: 26 weeks ...