Illusions and Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence

3 June 2014
Joseph Camilleri


The claim that ArtificialIntelligence can acquire or even approach human intelligence is spurious. The idea that human minds will soon learn to see themselves as computers is positively dangerous.

Human expertise and wisdom rely not on mastery of countless facts and rules, but on intuition and moral wisdom. These cannot be mechanically programmed.

Human intelligence and artificial intelligence are worlds apart. No robotic system, however ingenious, can of itself find enduring solutions to poverty in Bangladesh, violence in Syria, organised crime, or the addiction to the carbon economy.

If the clever machines of the future and their massive computational capabilities are to alleviate rather than exacerbate the immense challenges we face, we must make sure that both hardware and software are:

• human in scale
• subject to rigorous social and ecological impact assessment
• under democratic control, and
• in line with clearly stated ethical purposes.

We have much work to do.

First appeared on Ideapod 15 February 2014

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