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.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly “Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus” First sf story (Brian Aldiss, Gary Wolfe) The intelligent and articulate creature demands to know his origin, wants a female companion created because any living being has the right to happiness, but Victor F is afraid that a monstrous race will be created, so instead the creature murders 5 people close to Victor F. and him, the Creature vows to kill himself at the end.
In contrast to Verne (science speculation) and Wells (social commentary) Shelley's novel is both ironic (anti-science). Cultural theme.
Asimov “I, Robot” was thinking of the disaster scenarios of low-brow sf at the time. His robots exceed human intelligence but devote their existence to protecting humans. Robots (AI) are artifacts, we have control. Why would we not build safeguards. Ironically, “I Robot” is devoted to stories of scientist-detectives investigating unexpected effects of the 3 laws.
At this point, we want to know, what are we dealing with now? Beyond poor journalism and our cultural memes.
Descartes – animals are machines. Extends to L’homme machine (La Mettrie) - Renaissance fascination with automata. Cybernetics – Norbert Wiener – principle of feedback – 1940s – book “one of the most influential of the 20th Century” Feedback produces corrections in the behavior of a machine – like autofocus camera – behaves intelligently.
Considered a tremendously successful demo of AI, led to boundless optimism – 70s. Limited world, consider – world knowledge is necessary for real intelligence beyond limited worlds (Like Expert Systems) Cyc – provide more real world info. Rules. Inferences. Knowledge base, codify commons sense. Failure. Does an AI have to live through a childhood?
These are all based upon huge data bases, for both speech and fact-lookup. Represents increases in computing speed and storage as much as – or more than – our understanding of intelligence. IBM Deep Blue – chess. IBM Watson – Jeopardy, medical advice. Google Alpha Go – Go produced unique non-human strategies.
Are the driving directions you get from your phone AI?
Philosophy doesn’t help – how do we know other people are conscious, Biology doesn’t help – mechanisms just show waking mechanisms Can something be intelligent and not conscious? Philosophical zombies. We tend to attribute intelligent behavior to conscious and many things that go along with it (feelings, motivations) but it’s not necessarily so. Is consciousness produced by biology or by intelligence, or both? We have a tendency to anthropomorphize things that behave intelligently (attribute awareness to them) and estimate greater ability than they may have. Dogs. Weizenbaum Eliza.
Strong AI – machines doesn’t just act but thinks like a human, is aware, conscuioius Weak AI – machine acts as if or models human reactions, but may do things very differently, may be just computation Searle – Chinese Room Example Weak AI – human thinks chess program is making impressive moves, but it’s not thinking or planning, it’s using a huge memory of previous moves that’s been given to it by humans.
Hard AI = Symbolic AI = use human minds as the model for thinking = manipulate symbols Soft AI = any method Example: Natural language (Siri) is nothing more than pattern recognition using statistics (military – automatic ID of different fighter planes, not features, pixels). It’s not features, sematic content, sentence diagram, it’s statistics fitting prototype models. The big newspaper worthy AI is all statistical, it is a “thinking” not at all like the one type of intelligence we know for sure (humans) – Or is it?
Chomsky – statistical procedures used to model and simulate language has produced engineering success but is not science. People don’t decide the 3rd word of a sentence by consulting a probability table based upon the 2 previous words, they use semantics and syntactics. Statistical techniques will never reveal anything about the nature of intelligence or thinking. Norvig – 100% of search, speech recognition, machine translation and question answering (Jeopardy) is “probabilistic” not limited, dominant IBM Watson engineer – maybe this is how people actually do it after all – history of tech models of the mind (Freud, hydraulics) Turning Test. It’s biased.
Contemporary of Turing, Weiner, von Neumann. WW II British unit that broke Enigma code.
Believes Singularity is not in the distant future. Many figures: 2029. Singularitarians – Utopian future Moore’s Law – exponential increase in computing power – proven correct. Old PDP-11 versus 1 G Micro-SD Lanier – idea of a year is ridiculous
People pay attention to Kurzweil because his predictions are supposedly so accurate. But, like fortune tellers, his failures are hard to find in the newspapers. Robots – not the Jetson maid but a device that rolls around the restaurant and empties the trash.
(1) The statistical approach is what delivers amusing translation results, it doesn’t parse, doesn’t know nouns and verbs. Google will fix not by adding this capability but by getting more data. Analogy – the kid who googles the answer to their homework instead of understanding the principles. (2) The fear around AI is that the super-intelligence will act as humans act, violent, selfish, emotional, irrational. Can we expect this? Weak AI. Asimov’s Laws?
Sleep app, just presents % sleep (make it easy, transparent, orient to your goals, not system). But not useful, got look at data discovered alarm at 3 am every night. Intel: Makesenseofdata.com site. Is there any way to let people know more about the data, with being programmers or statisticians – provide that human oversight and insight? B&N book abandoned, still get ads. Look at riding crops, get unexpected ads. Self driving vehicles put truck drivers out of work, except, we’ll need human to oversee and interrupt on rare occasions – new job for artists and writers, plenty of time.
Lanier – Google, Facebook, etc. are Tom Sawyer and we’re whitewashing their fences.
Self driving vehicles put truck drivers out of work, except, we’ll need human to oversee and interrupt on rare occasions – new job for artists and writers, plenty of time. AI is not some science fictional threat like nothing we’ve seen before, it’s the same old human things with the same risks due to human failings, incompetence, greed, ambition, hubris, unforeseen consequences. Is AI any different from global warming? Is it technology per se or is it what has always been true about people and what they do?
Artificial Intelligence: Should You Be Worried?
Should You be Worried or Very, Very Worried?
It pervades not just science fiction but science and culture.
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
3. A robot must protect its own
existence as long as such
protection does not conflict
with the First or Second Law.
The Three Laws of Robotics
Which is It?
The creation turns on its creator. The robot servant.
Person: Pick up a big red block.
Person: Grasp the pyramid.
Computer: I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHICH PYRAMID
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
Person: What does the box contain?
Computer: THE BLUE PYRAMID AND THE BLUE
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.
“Artificial Intelligence is the intelligence exhibited by machines.”
“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.
Important Distinctions I
Important Distinctions III
Hard AI Soft AI
Machine learning = data crunching
What is intelligence?
Noam Chomsky Peter Norvigvs.
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
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
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
• General purpose robots are years or more
away, only special purpose robots make
o SXSW 2016 Panel “One Robot Doesn’t Fit All”
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!
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,
• Big Data = U.S. Census
vs. Sample Survey
• Google search big data
predicts the flu – then
• When should we worry
about privacy and
• The broom is an
• It is not “smart”
• It does not want to
cause the downfall of
the human race
• It has an error in its
• It is dangerous