Viewing The World Through The Lens Of Artificial Idiocy

road_testVia the Guardian Tom Chatfield on gazing at reality through computers’ data-crunching models:

When Facebook asks me what I “like”, it’s making the convenient assumption that I feel one of two ways about everything in the world – indifferent or affectionate. When it aggregates the results of mine and a billion other responses, marvellous insights emerge. But these remain based on a model of preference that might kindly be called moronic.

Similarly, every measurement embodies a series of choices: what to include, what to exclude. If a computer could learn to recognise images of cats with absolute accuracy, would that mean it knew what a cat was? Not unless you redefined cats as silent, immobile, odourless sequences of information describing two-dimensional images. If a computer could learn to identify you with absolute accuracy via surreptitiously scraped data from your social media presence, phone calls and banking activities, would that mean it knew what it means to be you? Not unless you redefined a person as a series of traceable numbers monitored ceaselessly by a series of machines. Which, of course, sounds like an excellent idea to some people.

14 Comments on "Viewing The World Through The Lens Of Artificial Idiocy"

  1. especially idiotic when the item being studied knows its being studied; whether it knows of the monolithic data miner, or knows of its “friends” still only a personally crafted simulacrum is seen.

  2. BuzzCoastin | Feb 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm |

    all intelligence is artificial
    especially the human kind
    computers make this readily apparent
    since what is presumed to be artificial intelligence
    is created by humans
    who somehow don’t see it as another form of human “intelligence”

  3. Simon Valentine | Feb 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm |

    the width of the beam is no measure of the parts, and the whole is naught {open sentence structure to indicate transversal simulcant}

    spread the words. the words is…
    okay well yes the ideas is legs … damnit cyrus …
    the words is light beams, reflected off mirrors, occasionally blocked by smoke

  4. Robert Creighton | Feb 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm |

    Like an automated compartmentalisation process, in a tailored, profound enlightenment suit? Ohh!

  5. kowalityjesus | Feb 21, 2014 at 4:53 am |

    imagine an era when we won’t need human-derived algorithms to define our internet experience, when we actually have AI entities constantly seeking the optimum algorithm. Think about it man, rock singers are only rockin you half the time! The other time they’re breathing! In!

  6. misinformation | Feb 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm |

    With 15.8% accuracy for cats, what can be expected for climate prediction?

  7. Reuben_the_Red | Feb 21, 2014 at 2:32 pm |

    It’s like trying to squeeze some drops of humanity out of the consumer/commodity rock. We’re so sure it can be done, when these structures and online networks are designed for one purpose, and it’s not to facilitate human activity, it’s to facilitate financial activity, specifically marketing and data-mining. That’s why there’s no FB “dislike” button.

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