Economist AI short-piece

The Economist’s print edition has a leader, The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence, that notes ominous opinions regarding the future of A.I., then presents a surprising salve for our worries: recall that many human-created entities are ‘autonomous,’ in a way: governments, corporations, stock markets. There, see? None of them have killed us off, and regulation and transparency stop these autonomous agents from doing too much harm.  It’s hard not to disagree with almost every aspect of this argument, but I leave that to each reader. Suffice it to say that plenty of harm has come of non-human intelligences created with the best and worst of intentions; and none of these mistakes makes me feel better about what role A.I. might have in our future.  What’s more, this nonstop focus on A.I. still continues to distract the ways in which automation and robotics today- well before the advent of strong A.I.- continues to change society ever more rapidly.

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