Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence vs The Real Thing

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

It is not funny any­more. Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence, we are told, can now make out when its in­ter­locu­tor is be­ing sar­cas­tic. That AI can be smart was ev­i­dent when two chat­bots cre­ated their own coded lan­guage that left hu­mans fum­ing, while guess­ing. It is pre­cisely th­ese smarts that fi­nally could end up in the kind of sce­nario in which Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger tells us, against a back­ground of fiery de­struc­tion, that he will be back. Of course, we can­not run scared of AI. We pos­i­tively love it, when it is used to make life sim­pler, as when an in­sur­ance startup in the US de­ployed AI to process a claim and set­tle it in a mat­ter of sec­onds on a hol­i­day. But the worry that what is sauce for in­sur­ance might be one’s goose getting cooked in an­other con­text con­tin­ues to nig­gle. The trou­ble is not just that ma­chines are getting smarter. Smarter ma­chines al­low hu­mans to get dumber as well. The mul­ti­pli­ca­tion ta­ble be­came a chore, if not en­tirely re­dun­dant, with the ad­vent of the cal­cu­la­tor. Phones that can store thou­sands of con­tact de­tails have drained hu­man mem­ory of its pre­vi­ous abil­ity to store num­bers by the dozen. Usain Bolt might run but the aam aadmi prefers ma­chines for lo­co­mo­tion. But there is a catch. The brain gets dumber only when the ma­chine re­mains sub­servient; when it rebels, it would be the brain’s turn to say, ‘I will be back.’

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