The Computer Says No ...
... but we have no idea why!
Welcome back to the inaugural Register Debate in which we pitch our writers against each other on contentious topics in IT and enterprise tech, and you – the reader – decide the winning side. The format is simple: a motion was proposed, for and against arguments were published on Monday, another round of arguments today, and a …
Randomness is a true building block of nature and intelligence. Computers can not and have never done true random, IMHO.
Case in point, the only animal that confounds the AI driverless car is the incredibly 'stupid' kangaroo. The AI can predict with complete accuracy other animals 99% going this way or that. The kangaroo is so random it blows the AI away, completely. This is a beautiful animal that has survived at least 40,000 years on this planet according to Aboriginal rock art.
I'm with "...the quality of randomness, spontaneity, surprise, unexpectedness and irrationality in our lives is a very precious thing." Simon Jeffes, proprietor of the Penguin Cafe.
So the penultimate paragraph sums it nicely 'you don't need logic!'. And there's the bear trap. Your AI sees a pattern - you don't know how it found it, it can't explain. The pattern might be real, it might not be - its almost certainly pre-determined by the 'data' you fed the AI - and data in the real world is never 'clean' and 'un-biased' and 'representative'. Even if the training data was immaculate, you may or not be able to predict anything useful. So my 'beat the odds' AI analyses a billion coin tosses - it can tell me the probability of heads - it can tell me nothing about the next coin toss.
It is turtles all the way down.
The reality is that AI is still somebody's algorithm - only justified with mountains of data.
The thing is - data in the real world is messy, ugly and generally unusable. Real world data encompasses limitations in sampling, errors in measurement, biases in focus, architectural limitations in model, and on and on.
Until there is actual intelligence - i.e. independent reasoning combined with intuition and reinforced with scientific method, "AI" is pure marketing garbage albeit very useful for killing jobs for people.
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
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