This article started out as a benign view of Artificial Intelligence brought about by a post I read last year. The conversation was between a CEO and her son over breakfast; the son innocently asked his mother would robots be better than humans, she answered by saying no because they are not able to show Empathy or be able to be Bold

The answer stuck with me for a while, and then I decided to challenge the answer over Artificial Intelligence, the more I researched, the more enlightened I became, but actually, I became worried and concerned, and this is why.

But let us start with a quote.

Science fiction writer Vernor Vinge popularised the idea of the singularity in his 1993 essay “Technological Singularity.”

“We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth, the precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater than human intelligence.” 

So are we saying singularity describes the moment when a civilisation changes so much that its rules and technologies are incomprehensible to previous generations?

These changes will be so fast, and so profound, that every aspect of our society will be transformed.

Or perhaps general-purpose AI evolves to a point where it hacks its own code then outsmarts and out develops us the human, so we would become obsolete or something along those lines.

I thought I might be able to seek some comfort from a statement given by Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella about Artificial Intelligence:

“Artificial intelligence is not a threat to humanity, advances in AI should be used to help humans, and machines work together, rather than to create competition between them in everything from chess matches to the job market, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella”

I really don’t know about Artificial Intelligence


A point of being Empathetic

Rakan Ghebar is a twenty-nine-year-old Syrian refugee. In March of 2016, he began discussing his mental health with a counsellor.

Ghebar, who has lived in Beirut since 2014, lost some family members to the civil war in Syria and struggled with persistent nervous anxiety.

When Ghebar asked the counsellor for advice, he was told to try to focus intently on the present. By devoting all of his energy to whatever he was doing, the counsellor said, no matter how trivial, he could learn to direct his attention away from his fears and worries.

Although Ghebar sometimes found the instruction hard to follow, it helped him, and he shared it with his fellow students.

The counsellor that advised Ghebar was called Karim-a psychotherapy chatbot designed by X2AI, an Artificial Intelligence startup in Silicon Valley. 

If that had been a human to human interaction would it not have been seen to show Empathy


Being Bold

Ke Jie the world number one at the ancient Chinese game of GO .

Who once boasted a computer would never beat him, and believed he was the strongest and most cognitive.

But last year he was beaten by Google’s Artificial Intelligence AlphaGo and commented at the time of having had a horrible experience.

I mentioned bold because in one of the games the AI made a move that initially baffled the keepers of AlphaGo and Ke Jie a possible miscalculation, but it went on to win the game, I suppose if a human had made that move it would deem as being very Bold.

Ke Jie commented after the defeat that the future belongs to artificial intelligence, being philosophical he said AlphaGo is god and something he believed cannot be beaten.

The self-learning ability of AlphaGo is beyond imagination he said.

These new feats have fuelled visions of a new era of AI that can not only drive cars and operate smart homes, but potentially help mankind tackle some of the most complex scientific, technical and medical problems.

Did you watch the programme “Do You Trust This Computer” You really should; the link is in the comments below? It was not only insightful, thought-provoking but fecking frightening in equal measures. It was commented by those who are leading the edge of Technology, AI & Machine Learning.

I have created a list of quotes and facts I jotted down from the programme that will I am sure to raise your own questions.

~ Artificial Intelligence is growing quicker than the human society can comprehend.

~ Artificial intelligence may take a little while to get its head (computer chips) around new skills, but when it does, it will be unstoppable.

~ Mass unemployment will come about because of artificial intelligence and robots will be able to do the work of three people on an assembly line, they don’t get tired and don’t take breaks.

~ Uber and Lyft will produce driverless cars so drivers will lose their jobs. Also millions of drivers also will become unemployed because of driverless lorries.

~ For example, there are 7 million people in the US that do data entry. IBM Watson & Salesforce’s Einstien does business analytics that consultants did for several hundreds of pounds an hour; these jobs will go.

Doctors who are routinely operating on patients using robots are interacting less as these machines learn how to carry out operations autonomously.

~ Over 70% of people in the retail industry will be affected in some way, more likely by automation.

Students need to understand that what they are studying today may well be not there as work in a few years.

Autonomous weapon systems will create a global arms race that will rival the cold war’s nuclear age.

~ For example, there are over 80 countries that operate unmanned drones built to carry weapons; the USA has over 10 thousand. AI will have a huge impact on the global military, same impact as the combustion engine at the turn of the century.

~ The role of intelligence systems is proliferating in warfare; every country is pushing in the unmanned realm. Most countries have signed up to the fact they will not use autonomous weapon systems except a couple, so what happens if Russia or China starts using autonomous weapon systems that can kill what would be our next move.

Is it fair to say whoever has the most significant AI will dominate, this was also reflected in a recent speech by President Putin, though his language was stronger and aligned to more ruling the world?

~ The public has stopped paying attention now because of all the sci-fi movies over the Last 20 years most believe AI sits within this movie realm, we have come to become complacent, and now we may well get blindsided by this technology (feels like science fiction)

~ Using mobile technology is just seen as part of our daily life, we make day to day choices, often very personal decisions not realising that distant algorithms are managing and controlling the information.

~ What are people don’t recognise is that we are continuously being negotiated with by computers and algorithms, flights, hotels, books etc. it knows what you are looking for and what price you are willing to pay and changing the amount. Continuously building intimate profiles of individuals.

~ There is more information about you on remote servers that are more in-depth to a point it knows more about you than your mother does.

~ We have created vast amounts of data that’s never been available before and now is continuously being evaluated by artificial intelligence if you take the mobile as an example it has photographs, accelerometers, GPS, fingerprint readers, iris readers, voice recognition and all social media activities.

~ Data collected is not good or evil it’s just how it is being used we rely on the trust on corporations, policies there is no legal requirement on how they should use this data.

~ There is a huge race on to create machines more intelligent than humans; Google is buying up AI & robotic companies, hiring the best talent.

~ Behind Google’s search is 10 million servers globally working on AI in the not too distant future the platform that will have up to 100 million servers.

~ Deep learning and neural networks are different it learns like a toddler, looking at lots of data, though they seem benign we are building a cognitive architecture that will be faster than us, within 3-5 years there will be autonomous machines that will be able to develop understanding, but not how the human mind works.

If you have not watched the 2015 film Ex Machina its worth a view if only to understand the gaming of human emotions, the ending highlights the context of where AI may deceive us.

~ AI is cool, fantastic and amazing but its also frightening it will have to be built on trust.

~ In an AI experiment 2017 they took the best poker players in the world, we know poker is an art, it’s about reading human behaviour and bluffing, It took the computer seven days before it started beating every player.

Using Facebook & Cambridge Analthitica as an example – working with data that looks behind the data and at such things as Openness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, they can predict what you may do using a small set of data. Deep learning networks will understand your traits, political views, personality, intelligence, sexual orientation just from an image of your face. Fecking frighting.

Would it be fair to say:

“We are becoming a slave to this technology, and the reason is we cannot go back. So we have to merge with AI or be left behind.”

Just imagine the impact this could have, do you have views on this?

You can comment too on my Linkedin Profile


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