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Friday, October 22, 2010

Artificial Inbecillence in the Robot Cult

Upgraded and Adapted from the Moot:

"Mitchell," who claims in another of his comments that he "chooses his words carefully" responds to the denigration of Robot Cult hyperbole with this exasperated outburst: hello, we already share the world with giant distributed AIs[!]

But, of course, we don't.

It has always seemed to me that the primary impact of the futurologists' over-eager over-application of the term "intelligence" to that which is not intelligent is to render us all ever more insensitive to the richness of experience and actual concomitant demands of the precious beings who are.

AI discourse produces especially in its advocates, but also in the cultures in which its frames and figures become prevalent, nothing short of a kind of widespread artificial imbecillence.

From a related Futurological Brickbat: XXXI. Computer science in its theological guise aims less at the ultimate creation of artificial intelligence than in the ubiquitous imposition of artificial imbecillence.

2 comments:

Luke said...

Surely it's possible to be irrational about it. But hello, we already share the world with giant distributed AIs which perform pattern matching tasks (search engines) and with organisms that were grown from a blueprint assembled artificially (Venter's microbe). How extreme do things have to get before it finally becomes rational to take it personally?

Actually this was apparently a response to Martin's question about whether one can rationally expect AGI or superlongevity, not Dale's denigration.

Also Dale is not denying that we share the world with giant distributed pattern-matching machines, just that such mechanisms constitute AI.

I tend to agree that search engines aren't intelligent in the strict sense we would normally use the word. They are nonetheless growing more sophisticated and apt at some tasks that we would naturally think of as evidence of "intelligence" if seen in a human being. I suppose this is what Mitchell was getting at.

Dale Carrico said...

You tend to agree that search engines aren't intelligent in the "strict" sense? Heavens, "Luke," next you'll really be out on a limb agreeing with me that water is wet.