Demonized A.I.

ai-brain-knowledge-graph-ss-1920.jpgWhat comes first when we talk about AI? The first thing came into my mind is the movie EX Machina (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_Machina_(film)). Ex Machina told a story of a programmers Caleb was selected to test several AI robots on AI’s ability to persuade the tester it is human. At the end, Ava, one of the AIs who has human-like emotion and thinking, made Caleb fall in love with her. Ava used the tester beat all other AIs, locked the tester in lab and successfully escaped the lab to enjoy her life as a real human. This movie was nominated the best original screenplay. After watching this movie, I felt very terrified by the level AI has reached. Being similar to EX Machina, a lot of movies build the images of AI as highly intelligent, out of control, far beyond human and most importantly: going bad.

Recently, the biggest news on media is the go match between Alphago, an AI build by Google team, and Lee Se-Dol, the 4th go player in the world from Korea. Because of the complexity and the huge amount of possibilities, the game of go has always been seen as the last field AI will win human beings. Before the match begin, there were news and discussions on whether AI will win human beings. When Alphago won the first two matches, media all went negative about this competition. In attracting people’s eyes, media again described Alphago as a thing that human beings should be cautious about. When Lee SeDol lose the third match, media was like totally negative about Lee Sedol. Many news talked about how powerful and mysterious AI is. The atmosphere of fear was all around. People keep asking will there be a time when AI controls human being; what will happen if AI is smarter than human beings? However, most writers of news have never read the paper published on Nature explaining the learning mechanism of Alphago. If they have read at least part of it, they will know that the win of Alphago is not the win of bad science to human being, but the win of many computer scientists’ intelligences to a single person.

Media knows what kind of news would attract people’s eyes. Trace back 1890s, this kind of news was defined as yellow press. By using sensational, exaggerated descriptions in news, media could catch more eyes than provide boring researches about the news. At the same time, this kind of news provide little or no legitimate well-researched materials. Just like the reports of this go match, the public image of genetically modified food was also terrified by media. Many media used the fact that the scientific mechanism behind GMO is hard to understand for every one to demonize GMO.

Making yellow press not only attracts more eye sight, it has more fundamental influence on the subject. If too much worries were pushed on AI, the future development of it will be affected.

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One Response to Demonized A.I.

  1. sydhavely says:

    I think you have yellow journalism mixed up with how Alpha Go was reported. As with Deep Blue beating chess champion Garry Kasparov, it was exciting news. What did machine learning mean? What exactly is human intelligence? What could machines do that humans couldn’t and vice versa? Since then, Ai has improved algorithms and performance as in the event just recently when Go genius Lee Sedol was deteated by Google’s DeepMind Alpha Go program, only to be bested by Sedol yesterday. It’s a complicated subject, Ria, and you need to give it more analytic insight.

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