Ian Bogost (previously) describes the "deflationary" use of "artificial intelligence" to describe the most trivial computer science innovations and software-enabled products, from Facebook's suicide detection "AI" (a trivial word-search program that alerts humans) to the chatbots that are billed as steps away from passing a Turing test, but which are little more than glorified phone trees, and on whom 40% of humans give up after a single conversational volley.
What is "AI," then? Georgia Tech artificial intelligence researcher Charles Isbell says it's "Making computers act like they do in the movies."
Isbell suggests two features necessary before a system deserves the name AI. First, it must learn over time in response to changes in its environment. Fictional robots and cyborgs do this invisibly, by the magic of narrative abstraction. But even a simple machine-learning system like Netflix’s dynamic optimizer, which attempts to improve the quality of compressed video, takes data gathered initially from human viewers and uses it to train an algorithm to make future choices about video transmission.
Isbell’s second feature of true AI: what it learns to do should be interesting enough that it takes humans some effort to learn. It’s a distinction that separates artificial intelligence from mere computational automation. A robot that replaces human workers to assemble automobiles isn’t an artificial intelligence, so much as machine programmed to automate repetitive work. For Isbell, “true” AI requires that the computer program or machine exhibit self-governance, surprise, and novelty.
‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless
Writing in The Journal of Health Economics, three economists claim (Sci Hub mirror) that "a one standard deviation reduction in daily stock market returns is associated with a 0.6% increase in fatal car accidents that happen after the stock market opening" and that this is robust across "a battery of falsification tests."
The latest installment of the always-delightful McMansion Hell (previously) departs from the usual format of mercilessly skewering the tasteless custom homes of the contemporary super-rich and instead delves into their historic precedent, the 1970s-vintage "proto-McMansion," AKA the "Styled Ranch."
For decades, the "bystander effect" (previously) has been a bedrock of received psychological wisdom: "individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present; the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that one of them will help."
Everybody wears socks, even presidents, but not everybody wears sophisticated, ultra-comfortable socks made with bamboo yarn that offers softness, ventilation, and durability. So with all these DeadSoxy socks on sale for Presidents’ Day, why not use this opportunity to make those hard-working feet of yours happier than they’ve ever been? With styles for work and […]
If you’re looking to read more in 2020, you probably wish you had more time to get that done. Well, we can’t create more hours in the day (we’re mad about it too), but we can help you maximize those hours. Catch up on that book list and get ahead of the game when you […]
Grover Cleveland served as America’s 22nd President before being narrowly defeated for re-election by Benjamin Harrison in 1888. But the undeterred Cleveland roared back four years later, winning the 1892 election for his second term in the White House. If the American people can give a president a second chance, don’t you think a gently-used […]