Some truths about “AI”

In an article on the New Scientist website, science fiction author Martha Wells tells some truths about “AI”:

“The predictive text bots labelled as AIs that we have now aren’t any more sentient than a coffee cup and a good deal less useful for anything other than generating spam. (They also use up an unconscionable amount of our limited energy and water resources, sending us further down the road to climate disaster, but that’s another essay.)”

That’s at least three uncomfortable truths about “AI” (or as Ted Chiang calls it, “applied statistics”):

(1) “AI” is not sentient, i.e., it’s not an intelligence.
(2) The only thing “AI” can really do is generate spam.
(3) In order to produce spam, “AI” takes an enormous amount of energy.

I’m generally enthusiastic about new technology. But not “AI,” which strikes me as a boondoggle start to finish.

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