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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

5 Myths About Artificial Intelligence (AI) You Must Stop Believing | Forbes

Photo:  Bernard Marr
Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to transform many aspects of business and society, but with that also comes hype and fear. Here we look at five biggest myths about AI and machine learning which, while commonly quoted or believed, people should stop believing, argues Bernard Marr, best-selling author & keynote speaker on business, technology and big data. His new book is Data Strategy.

Photo: Forbes

Very few subjects in science and technology are causing as much excitement right now as artificial intelligence (AI). In a lot of cases this is good reason, as some of the world’s brightest minds have said that it’s potential to revolutionize all aspects of our lives is unprecedented.

On the other hand, as with anything new, there are certainly snake-oil salesmen looking to make a quick buck on the basis of promises which can’t (yet) be truly met. And there are others, often with vested interests, with plenty of motive for spreading fear and distrust.

So here is a run-through of some basic misconceptions, and frequently peddled mistruths, which often come up when the subject is discussed, as well as reasons why you shouldn’t necessarily buy into them.

AI is going to replace all jobs
It’s certainly true that the advent of AI and automation has the potential to seriously disrupt labor – and in many situations it is already doing just that. However, seeing this as a straightforward transfer of labor from humans to machines is a vast over-simplification.

Previous industrial revolutions have certainly led to transformation of the employment landscape, such as the mass shift from agricultural work to factories during the nineteenth century. The number of jobs (adjusted for the rapid growth in population) has generally stayed consistent though. And despite what doom-mongers have said there’s very little actual evidence to suggest that mass unemployment or widespread redundancy of human workforces is likely. In fact, it is just as possible that a more productive economy, brought about by the increased efficiency and reduction of waste that automation promises, will give us more options for spending our time on productive, income-generating pursuits... 

Artificial intelligence will quickly overtake and outpace human intelligence
This is a misconception brought about by picturing intelligence as a linear scale – for example, from one to 10 – imagining that perhaps animals score at the lower end, humans at the higher end, and with super-smart machines at the top of the scale.

In reality intelligence is measured in many different dimensions. In some of them (for example speed of calculations or capacity for recall) computers already far outpace us, while in others, such as creative ability, emotional intelligence (such as empathy) and strategic thinking, they are still nowhere near and aren’t likely to be any time soon.

Source: Forbes

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