Human error, not artificial intelligence, poses the greatest threat


A robot and a dancer perform during the opening ceremony of an industry fair in Hanover, Germany on 31 March 2019.

The risk that humanity faces comes not from malevolent machines but from incompetent programmers, writes Martyn Thomas.

The long read (28 March) on the threat from artificial intelligence misses the point. In a paper written in 1951, Alan Turing demolished all the arguments against AI one day surpassing human intelligence, but there is no sign that that “singularity” is on the horizon. The imminent threat is that we’ve built a digital society on software foundations that are too vulnerable to failures and cyber-attacks, as a recent report from the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre oversight board powerfully illustrated. The risk that humanity faces comes not from malevolent machines but from incompetent programmers who leave their customers vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other failures.

If we survive long enough to see truly intelligent machines, then there is no known barrier to them developing consciousness. But how could we tell?

Martyn Thomas

Emeritus professor of IT, Gresham College, London

Via The Guardian



Five myths about artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence is the future. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are all making big bets on AI. (Amazon owner Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.) Congress has held hearings and even formed a bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Caucus. From health care to transportation to national security, AI has the potential to improve lives. But it comes with fears about economic disruption and a brewing “AI arms race .” Like any transformational change, it’s complicated. Perhaps the biggest AI myth is that we can be confident about its future effects. Here are five others.

Continue reading… “Five myths about artificial intelligence”