Apropos of the captioned Bloomberg report by Leonid Bershidsky (December 6) the learned writer is missing a very important point. Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are certainly not a “one-trick pony” as Bershidsky would have us believe! AI is a tool — admittedly still a “work in progress” and likely to remain so for a very long time as it is based on the concept of “constant learning” — that has the potential to go way ahead of “human capabilities”. Even though one would wish for “machines” never to become our masters, I’m afraid AI might well make that scenario a reality.
Elon Musk — while publicly expressing his fears of AI — wasn’t imagining things. He sees a real danger when machines become smarter than those creating them. AI works on the principle of “seeing, sifting, analysing and learning from big data” which machines can indeed perform much faster than the human brain. Already robots are learning to “understand emotions of the elderly whom they are meant to assist” and responding to these. A machine can certainly see/read millions of pictures/pieces of information in a fraction of a second (which is not humanly possible) and pick from the same the most appropriate one for responding to the question raised by a human being.
John Searle’s “Chinese Room” example, mentioned by the author himself, is a case in point. AI could — and probably would — transform our lives way more than just “one-trick ponies”.
Krishan Kalra Gurugram
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