AI - the truth revealed
AI is neither artificial nor intelligent. It is made from natural resources and it is people who are performing the tasks to make the systems appear autonomous.
'Artificial Intelligence' - just the term can spark a mild panic attack in a lot of folk.
AI is the 'dark and dangerous beast' that is threatening to do terrible things to society in the future - take our jobs, feed us news that makes us scared, ruin our lives...
There is also a boat load of secrecy that shrouds the AI 'industry' and how this technology is produced. In reality, it seems that AI is far less automated and far more dangerous than we had ever imagined it to be.
In an intriguing article in The Guardian (well worth the time to read if you are planning on being around for the next 5 years) Microsoft's Kate Crawford (who is also publishing a book on the topic) lifts the curtain on her research into AI.
What is striking from Crawford's research into what goes on, for example, behind-the-scenes when you bark an arbitrary order at Alexa, is that to perform the most basic, mundane function, requires an endless string of non-renewable resources and exploited labour.
'AI is neither artificial nor intelligent. It is made from natural resources and it is people who are performing the tasks to make the systems appear autonomous.' - Kate Crawford
To show you how the AI value chain actually works - they painstakingly mapped the Anatomy of an AI system here - which you can download and study at your leisure. [this is the title image of this post BTW].
The conclusion is that AI does need regulation and a code of ethics - yes, but AI is also about power and who exactly is wielding that power for what purposes?
We are still clearly in the early stages of AI applications and a lot needs to still be understood and taken into account. For now - it's best just to explore the topic more intently and be aware that this is still a very blunt instrument.