The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can't Think the Way We Do

The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can't Think the Way We Do


, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy, Nonfiction

"If you want to know about AI, read this shows how a supposedly futuristic reverence for Artificial Intelligence retards progress when it denigrates our most irreplaceable resource for any future progress: our own human intelligence."--Peter Thiel

A cutting-edge AI researcher and tech entrepreneur debunks the fantasy that superintelligence is just a few clicks away--and argues that this myth is not just wrong, it's actively blocking innovation and distorting our ability to make the crucial next leap.

Futurists insist that AI will soon eclipse the capacities of the most gifted human mind. What hope do we have against superintelligent machines? But we aren't really on the path to developing intelligent machines. In fact, we don't even know where that path might be.

A tech entrepreneur and pioneering research scientist working at the forefront of natural language processing, Erik Larson takes us on a tour of the landscape of AI to show how far we are from superintelligence, and what it would take to get there. Ever since Alan Turing, AI enthusiasts have equated artificial intelligence with human intelligence. This is a profound mistake. AI works on inductive reasoning, crunching data sets to predict outcomes. But humans don't correlate data sets: we make conjectures informed by context and experience. Human intelligence is a web of best guesses, given what we know about the world. We haven't a clue how to program this kind of intuitive reasoning, known as abduction. Yet it is the heart of common sense. That's why Alexa can't understand what you are asking, and why AI can only take us so far.

Larson argues that AI hype is both bad science and bad for science. A culture of invention thrives on exploring unknowns, not overselling existing methods. Inductive AI will continue to improve at narrow tasks, but if we want to make real progress, we will need to start by more fully appreciating the only true intelligence we know--our own.

Title:The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can't Think the Way We Do
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    The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can't Think the Way We Do Reviews

  • Ben Chugg

    There is a prevailing dogma that achieving "artificial general intelligence" will require nothing more than bigger and better machine learning models. Add more layers, add more data, create better opt...

  • Loren Picard

    The best, most level headed, and honest take on where scientists are with AI. No talk of cosmic endowment, killer robots, and machines replacing humans as a species. Larson doesn't sidestep the narrow...

  • Eric Holloway

    important contrarianLots of great tidbits, like how winograd schemas have resisted even big data and deep learning. Also interesting the abductive form, and its neglect in AI research. A sobering look...

  • Bruce

    This should be required reading of all human beings. The hyperbole surrounding the idea of Artificial Intelligence has become hysterical and those who subscribe to the hysteria the new "FLAT EARTHERS"...