Yesterday evening we had a guest speaker for our tech talk named Melanie Swan ( http://ww.linkedin.com/pub/melanie-swan/0/14/27b ). Without a doubt, this woman had a mind on her and it was very interesting to listen to her.
However, the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) came up and how it has been estimated that by 2036 (or there abouts) the power of computers will surpass the power of the human brain (apparently referred to as the Singularity).
This rubbed me the wrong way. Not because of the power of computers, but the very idea of “AI”. Society tends to have this misconception that computers are smart. They are not. Computers are monumentally stupid. They cant even be called “stupid” now that I think of it because that detonates that they even possess intelligence. Computers are simply machines that run computations. Ergo the term computers. They are a series of On-Off / Open-Closed / True-False statements.
They are only capable do doing exactly what we tell them. Nothing more. The appearance of AI is really just a facade. Apple’s Siri is not smart. Siri cannot interpret your words. It (I hesitate to say “she” in this conversation) can only match your voice to predetermined words and then those words go through a massive series of algorithms and If statements to come to a conclusion. That is. Oh, and guess what: Siri doesnt actually learn. It just records patterns.
No matter how hard we try, computers will always lack what makes something truly intelligent: creativity. Computers cannot think for themselves. They cannot discern beauty, nor honor, nor love. They will always be limited to simple mathematical and logical evaluations. And even then they will be limited to only data that is quantifiable. Can a computer measure the value of a human life? Or the reason why we care for and love the mentally disabled?
“AI” is a fantasy.