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Be more afraid of the hype vendors than of the AI

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The release of the Top Ten over hyped AI stories of 2019 has led the way for further promising ones, including this one, says engineer and philosopher Jonathan Bartlett:

Was the machine cleverand sneaky or was it just programmed wrong? You decide.

First, just to be clear, at Mind Matters we have nothing against AI. Quite the opposite, our writers include professors at the forefront of AI research. But we do have something against AI hype. Media seemingly can’t help portraying today’s high-tech world as a remake of I, Robot (2004), starring you and me. One result is that some members of the public may completely misunderstand what AI is and does.… TechCrunch published an article on December 31, 2018, with the title, “This clever AI hid data from its creators to cheat at its appointed task,” advising, “Depending on how paranoid you are, this research from Stanford and Google will be either terrifying or fascinating.” The article details an actual incident from 2017 but the mundane occurrence seems to have morphed into science fiction. Jonathan Bartlett, “It’s 2019: Begin the AI Hype Cycle Again!” at Mind Matters

Jonathan Bartlett

Jonathan Bartlett is the Research and Education Director of the Blyth Institute.

Also by Jonathan Bartlett: How can information theory help the economy grow


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See also: The Top Ten over hyped AI stories of 2019

One Reply to “Be more afraid of the hype vendors than of the AI

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    In my experience, it is MUCH more common for human analysts (or more often Managers) to ignore data they don’t like or simply present fake data. I think Lying Convincingly is probably the most important skill for a Manager, at least for managers on government projects. Although I did attend a staff meeting where a large “non-profit” health care insurer was attempting to explain to the staff how to hedge explanations to their friends and relatives. The upshot though was that IMMEDIATELY the “non-profit” was going to redecorate ALL the lobbies and buy a NEW PC for every desktop. That is, the corporation was “not for profit” ONLY because they made sure that expenses ALWAYS equaled or exceeded declared income. The assumption by the Public is of course that “non-profit” means your staff is the Little Sisters of the Poor and you work out of a condemned warehouse.

    There is a quote from Franklin Roosevelt along the lines, “Yesterday I was in the middle of telling the press a lie when I suddenly realized that I COULD HAVE GOTTEN BY WITH the truth.” So perhaps the AI is just trying to become FDR?

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