Artificial Non-Intelligence

The Danger with Artificial “Intelligence” Is That It’s Not (yet) Intelligent

Albert Einstein once said that “our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal”. He said this in December 1917, almost a hundred years ago, after seeing Europe ravaged by the First World War. Regardless, Einstein continued contributing to that same technological progress. Human curiosity and our desire to achieve are incompatible with stagnation. We will have to deal with this by being careful with the technology we will inevitably develop.

Like many have said before me, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can either be our salvation or our doom. It is a far bigger game-changer than nuclear bombs. But the problem is that there is NO Artificial Intelligence yet, and there won’t be for quite some time to come. Everything that the world’s corporations are selling now-a-days as “smart” or “intelligent” is actually a mindless human construct. Sure, it’s advanced, but if a rocket is more advanced than a spoon, that doesn’t make it in the slightest more intelligent than the spoon. They both lack one of the prime ingredients of intelligence, which is self-awareness. And therein lays the true threat.

Right now, our so-called artificial “intelligence” is nothing but a tool that corporations can and will use ruthlessly against one another (and against the people of one another). This is already taking place on the stock market, something I wrote about last year. Back then, I highlighted the fact that exactly because these algorithms are not intelligent, they will be used to enrich and empower whoever spent money in building them, regardless of their morals or social affiliation. And let’s not forget that software is far easier to steal and smuggle than radioactive material. Put the wrong AI in the hands of the wrong people and…

The AI Stock Market Wars

The AI Stock Market Wars

Before Artificial Intelligence develops free will and would even be in a sufficiently advanced position to decide if humans are necessary on this planet, we seem to be doing a pretty good job of destroying ourselves anyway by giving a dangerous amount of power over to semi-intelligent algorithms. Enter the artificially intelligent hedge fund.

But what’s this talk about “destroying ourselves”? Can these things actually kill? Well, let’s look at this way: these algorithms are designed to make profits for their owners by moving investments from one company to the other. In other words, stock market algorithms are playing with the fate of companies in order to make profits for investors. But unlike a human, an algorithm is not programmed for empathy, mercy or intuition. Such algorithms could potentially annihilate a promising company simply because it made some errors in reporting or short-term financial planning.

Robots On Our Streets

Robots on Our Streets (and Everywhere Else)

The development of self-driving vehicles is progressing at a steady pace. It’s only a matter of time before seeing a human drive a vehicle on public roads will be akin to seeing a horse and carriage on a motorway. Even if introduced globally right now while still in development, self-driving technology would drastically reduce fatalities.

Unfortunately, today’s society would only accept this technology if it is perfect. That’s because it is “understandable” that crazed primates may kill other beings because of recklessness and inattention, but it certainly won’t be tolerable for a computer to make a mistake, even if it would happen a thousand times less often – and most likely due to freak coincidences rather than the machine actually making a mistake. But society will evolve. Self-driving is here to stay and like it or not, primates will soon be relegated to driving on the race track or some other place where the potential of threatening life is lower.

And while self-driving is currently one of the most debated topics, we should really be talking about self-piloting, which is a more generic term. It covers more of what will actually happen: all machinery will soon be able to pilot itself. So how would worldwide fleet of interconnected self-piloting machinery change life on Earth?

How to Wield Facebook

How to Make Facebook Show You the Stuff You Really Care About

Facebook doesn’t really do its job when you ask of it to follow a website for you. Here you will find two images that explain how you can properly follow a page on Facebook. Unless you change your notification settings as shown in the images, the default behavior is that whatever you see in your news feed is at the whim of algorithms designed to extract money out of everybody using the website – users on the one side and advertisers on the other. Sadly Facebook treats as advertisers even non-profit content creators such as myself, but more on that inside the article.

It’s a pity that I even have to type this but alas, due to the rather unfair algorithms employed by Facebook (and many other social networks), I realize it’s necessary to explain the current situation. Before I start, I’d like to emphasize that I have no problem with Facebook making a profit. As a living commercial entity, it needs to survive in order to evolve. But what will it evolve into? We as users of Facebook need to voice our concerns if we wish to have a say in its evolution. A social network should be the best place to make oneself heard but unfortunately, in the case of Facebook this is increasingly false.

Facebook currently deepens the chasms between social groups, reducing one’s opportunity to discuss with people outside one’s comfort zone. Like any company, Facebook wants its users happy. Happy users spend more time on the website and make the company more money.

Another way Facebook algorithms are hurting is treating non-profits as if they were advertisers. The website is built quite “intelligently” so that it coerces the owners of pages into paying for getting exposure.

Mark Zuckerberg's "Building Global Community"

About Zuckerberg’s Global Community Vision

Two weeks ago Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of FaceBook, dropped what I consider to be an ideological bombshell on the tech industry and on business in general. It doesn’t even matter what the true intentions behind it are. It grabbed attention and dared to change – at least for a little while – the tune of the global business discourse.

Mark’s Global Community post is very well written and published at the ideal time to provide maximum PR value. I’m not surprised that some have even seen it as a sort of political statement.

Stock Market Drives Companies Insane

How the Stock Market Drives Companies Insane

In the past decade, we’ve witnessed countless cases of companies breaking the law or harming the environment in their frenetic quest for profits. The most recent high profile case is Volkswagen’s cheating in the emissions scandal. Or was the toxic spill from a mine in Brazil worse? In case we’re undecided, perhaps the disastrous explosion in China can take the prize? All of these happened in the space of four months in 2015.

Big Corporations Go After Artificial Intelligence

Big Corporations Go After Artificial Intelligence

The word “Go” in the title is not coincidental. Much earlier than expected, an AI program managed to defeat a human Go champion. Artificial Intelligence has had the upper hand in the game of Chess for more than a decade already. However, defeating humans at the game of Go requires a different kind of intelligence than it is the case with Chess.