“Pictures don’t lie.” Take a look at this one. Title: AI imagines Trump and Biden as buddies. Artificial intelligence (AI) is too intelligent to make this mistake.
At the beginning of the computer age was a pithy phrase: “Garbage in — Garbage out.” This combination of words dates to 1957 when an Army Specialist, William D. Mellin explained that computers cannot think for themselves.
But now they can. Or so we are told. But, I suspect the more immediate challenge is the artificial or manipulative side of the use of computer tools. I can remember, close to home, a Christmas card that succumbed to the mastery of software.
Yet, each combination of years and newly minted software engineers push both the science and the tools. At times inspiration starts with sci-fi writers. Unrelenting. Unstoppable.
Mustafa Suleyman, in his book,”The Coming Wave”, went back to a triangular piece of metal we know as a stirrup. The stirrup made more lethal warfare possible by the early 4th Century AD. It literally changed the world. Suddenly combatants could use weapons without falling off their horse. AI is now another transformative leap forward.
Everything is in one form or another information. Health care is information. Our meals begin that way — recipes. Our cars begin as information — engineering. As does news. As does clarity of mind or not. Credulity at its best is wary—our mind’s filter is essential. The more trusting we are as voters, for example, the more we risk. Essential question: can we trust that information?
The best leaders push and push for accuracy and informed opinion. It is, in part, a tactile experience. Those who lead with insight must touch and touch again. Without it their organizations do not thrive. AI will do much of that for them as it parses databases for accuracy and converts what it finds into words and images. Maybe answers. Breakthrough products and services. And the best AI technology is constantly updating its sources while separating right steps from false ones. It sounds human; in time it will become super human.
I think of AI as a synthesis generator. While my use has been limited and I find some of the answers quite cautious rather than decisive, I am amazed at the size of the language models it searches and parses and its speed. Looking ahead from from where AI is today can be frightening. And hopeful. If we are at the beginning, where will we be when we reach the end? Well, of course, there will be no end.
Investors have rushed in. Last week articles noted the breach of a $3 Trillion ceiling of market value of Microsoft. Microsoft in 2019 bought what we know of as Chat GPT. It bought leverage — the use of AI in the 21st Century will be akin to the stirrup in the 4th.
AI will be ubiquitous. It will not stop. Every second its scope will move forward. And if you are a knowledge worker without understanding fully AI’s importance in what you do — well, it won’t be pretty.
So yeah, we should be both worried and hopeful. Biden and Trump picnicking together—laughable. A version of 21st Century comics. But I am all in favor of getting the two-some engaged. They should be asked how they would deploy AI as a benefit. Asked whether they would issue an Executive Oder affecting its development. Asked whether, when AI is a source, attribution should be required. In short, who is behind the curtain?Shouldn’t we know?
Finally, what about regulation? Imaginative fear is an unsuitable platform for detailing regulation. Sure, we should be attentive and when plausible fear begins to take root the central government should act. The nature of artificial intelligence makes lower units of government unsuitable. In the meantime the benefit side is promising.