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Artificial Intelligence: Should You Be Worried?


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An introduction to the what artificial intelligence is and a cultural history of the fear of creation of intelligence. A realistic assessment is made of the so-called singularity and what we really should be worried about: artificial "semi-intelligence." Talk given to the Northern Monmouth County Branch of the AAUW.

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Artificial Intelligence: Should You Be Worried?

  1. 1. Artificial Intelligence Should You be Worried or Very, Very Worried?
  2. 2. The Frankenstein Theme
  3. 3. ACulturalArchetype It pervades not just science fiction but science and culture.
  4. 4. Asimov: Your Fears Are Unfounded 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. Isaac Asimov The Three Laws of Robotics (fictional)
  5. 5. Which is It? The creation turns on its creator. The robot servant.
  6. 6. OK, What is “A.I.”? Descartes Cybernetics
  7. 7. 1970s: SHRDLU Person: Pick up a big red block. Computer: OK. Person: Grasp the pyramid. Computer: I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHICH PYRAMID YOU MEAN. Person (changing their mind): Find a block which is taller than the one you are holding and put it into the box. Computer: BY "IT", I ASSUME YOU MEAN THE BLOCK WHICH IS TALLER THAN THE ONE I AM HOLDING. Computer: OK. Person: What does the box contain? Computer: THE BLUE PYRAMID AND THE BLUE BLOCK. Person: What is the pyramid supported by? Computer: THE BOX. Person: How many blocks are not in the box? Computer: FOUR OF THEM. Person: Is at least one of them narrower than the one which i told you to pick up? Computer: YES, THE RED CUBE. Terry Winograd, MIT The machine understood natural language to manipulate an imaginary world of blocks, cones, and balls.
  8. 8. Today • Siri • Cortana • Alexa • Google Now
  9. 9. Artificial Intelligence “Artificial Intelligence is the intelligence exhibited by machines.” o Wikipedia “AI means getting a machine to do something you didn’t think a machine could do.” o Roger Schank (1991) “Where’s the AI?” AI Magazine Years ago, optical character recognition and chess playing were AI, today they are not. Schank (1991)
  10. 10. Important Distinctions I Awareness Intelligence
  11. 11. Important Distinctions II Strong AI Weak AI
  12. 12. Important Distinctions III Hard AI Soft AI Machine learning = data crunching
  13. 13. What is intelligence? Noam Chomsky Peter Norvigvs.
  14. 14. The Singularity Irving John Good – 1960s • The ultraintelligent machine “A machine that can far surpass the intellectual activities of any man however clever. … an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines ... The intelligence of man would be left far behind.”
  15. 15. The Singularity Ray Kurzweil – 2005 • The Singularity “It’s a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed.” o Kurzweil, “The Singularity is Near” pg. 7 Oh don’t forget … • Stephen Hawking • Bill Gates • Elon Musk
  16. 16. Where are We Now? • “… by 2010, keyboards and mice will become obsolete.” o Ray Kurzweil, keynote to GDC Conference, 2008 • Microsoft Tay AI Chat Bot Twitter taught it to love Hitler, deny the Holocaust, promote incest, and claim Bush planned 9/11 • General purpose robots are years or more away, only special purpose robots make sense. o SXSW 2016 Panel “One Robot Doesn’t Fit All”
  17. 17. Where are We Now? • Google Translate – Russian joke: • But … Google AlphaGo defeats Go Champion Rabinovich complaining neighbor that we should dig up the garden, and no strength, it is hard. Once he leaves, the neighbor calls the KGB: “I Rabinovich buried in the garden gold. ” Immediately call Rabinovitch: “Rabinovich! You tonight to dig up the whole garden, I agree!
  18. 18. What is the Real Danger? • Algorithmic Lunacy • Job search AI recommended women lower paying jobs • Health app on smartphone nags user in wheelchair • Google automatic picture tagging labels black people as “gorillas” o SXSW 2016 Panel What about systems controlling our water, transportation etc. ? Faith in the nearness of AI engenders trust in AI, should it?
  19. 19. Big Data • Big Data = U.S. Census vs. Sample Survey • Google search big data predicts the flu – then it doesn’t • When should we worry about privacy and when not?
  20. 20. Artificial Semi-Intelligence • The broom is an artificial intelligence • It is not “smart” • It does not want to cause the downfall of the human race • It has an error in its programming • It is dangerous
  21. 21. Thank You