AI’s Real Risk

The billion-dollar OpenAI initiative announced last week by Elon Musk and company recalls DARPA’s Grand Challenge, the X-Prize, and MIT Media Lab’s One Laptop Per Child initiative – innovative institutional mechanisms explicitly designed to attract top talent and worldwide attention to worthy problems. They can work well, and my bet is that the OpenAI will goad a similar competitive response — smart companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Baidu, and Alibaba will immediately recognize that the so-called “not for profit” issues the researchers identify need to be incorporated in their own AI/ML technology roadmaps. Here’s the central challenge with AI that Musk’s initiative should tackle: feelings. “Artificial Intelligence” is a misnomer; the label misrepresents and – ironically – misunderstands the reality of learning and cognition. Historical evidence overwhelmingly suggests that…


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