Encyclopedia Thursday, April 19, 2018 13208 hits

Designing artificial intelligence (and everything else)

A new documentary "Do You Trust This Computer?" is out there, covering much of the newest e-tourism trends. This is how its authors are intriguing the audience: "Science fiction has long anticipated the rise of machine intelligence. Today, a new generation of self-learning computers has begun to reshape every aspect of our lives. Incomprehensible amounts of data are being created, interpreted, and fed back to us in a tsunami of apps, personal assistants, smart devices, and targeted advertisements. Virtually every industry on earth is experiencing this transformation, from job automation, to medical diagnostics, even military operations. Do You Trust This Computer? explores the promises and perils of our new era. Will A.I. usher in an age of unprecedented potential, or prove to be our final invention?"

But Michael Jordan from UC Berkeley releases the throttle, arguing that The Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet. Firstly, "Most of what is being called “AI” today, particularly in the public sphere, is what has been called “Machine Learning” (ML) for the past several decades. ML is an algorithmic field that blends ideas from statistics, computer science and many other disciplines (see article link for detailed explanations) to design algorithms that process data, make predictions and help make decisions." 

Jordan continues there are other, more human- and less tech-related issues opened currently: "We need to realize that the current public dialog on AI — which focuses on a narrow subset of industry and a narrow subset of academia — risks blinding us to the challenges and opportunities that are presented by the full scope of AI, IA and II[i]. This scope is less about the realization of science-fiction dreams or nightmares of super-human machines, and more about the need for humans to understand and shape technology as it becomes ever more present and influential in their daily lives. Moreover, in this understanding and shaping there is a need for a diverse set of voices from all walks of life, not merely a dialog among the technologically attuned." And: " In the current era, we have a real opportunity to conceive of something historically new — a human-centric engineering discipline."


[i] “Intelligence Augmentation” (IA) and "Intelligent Infrastructure" (II). See Jordan's paper for the explanation.


Michael Jordan // Photo credit: Peg Skorpinski // http://tiny.cc/ba0vsy




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