A screen shows a demonstration of SenseTime Group Ltd’s SenseVideo pedestrian and vehicle recognition system in Beijing, China, on Friday 15 June 2018.
Self-driving cars don’t drink and medical AIs are never overtired. Given our obvious flaws, what can humans still do best?
A five-year-old boy is helping his grandmother cook by cutting out biscuits from the dough she’s made, and he’s doing it rather badly. He instructs the family robot to take over and, even though the robot’s never done this before, it quickly learns what to do, and cuts out the biscuits perfectly. The grandmother is rather disappointed, remembering fondly the lopsided biscuits, complete with grubby fingerprints, that her son had charmingly baked for her at that age. Her grandson continues to use the robot for such tasks, and will grow up with pretty poor manual dexterity.
When the boy’s parents come home, he says: ‘Look, I’ve made these biscuits for you.’ One parent says: ‘Oh how lovely, may I have one?’ The other thinks silently: ‘No you didn’t make these yourself, you little cheat.’
Artificial intelligence (AI) might have the potential to change how we approach tasks, and what we value. If we are using AI to do our thinking for us, employing AI might atrophy our thinking skills.