… maybe by changing the landscape in ways we might not like. Referring to a mathematical concept discussed by Bertrand Russell, he calls it “theft” vs. “honest toil.” From Bill Dembski at Mind Matters Today:
AI (artificial intelligence) poses a challenge to human work, threatening to usurp many human jobs in coming years. But a related question that’s too often ignored and needs to be addressed is whether this challenge will come from AI in fact being able to match and exceed human capabilities in the environments in which humans currently exercise those capabilities, or whether it will come from AI also manipulating our environments so that machines thrive where otherwise they could not.
AI never operates in a vacuum. Rather, any instance of AI operates in an environment. We often think that AI will leave an environment untouched and simply supersede human capability as it operates in that environment. But what if the success of AI depends not so much on being able to rival human capabilities as in “changing the game” so that AI has an easier job of it. The mathematician George Polya used to quip that if you can’t solve a problem, find an easier problem and solve it. Might AI in the end not so much supersede humans as rather impoverish the environments in which humans find themselves so that machines can thrive at their expense? More.
For example, automated cars will work best if all roads are converted to the equivalent of railroad tracks and all drivers are passengers. But that would change driving culture forever. It would also make monitoring people in transit much easier. Those changes arevery AI-friendly but are they changes the public actually wants?
I’ve (O’Leary for News) said this before: Not enough attention is paid in these discussions to the psychology of driving, at east in North America.
See also: Bill Dembski: Machines will never supersede humans!
Bill Dembski: Descartes (1596—1650) could tell you why “smart machines” are stalled