Wednesday, April 05, 2023

This is not what we used to understand as "artificial intelligence"

It seems like every new application that comes out is called "A.I." these days. Maybe it's just me, but really sophisticated chatbots or programs that can make videos based on a description of a scene is not what I have ever thought of as actual artificial intelligence.

Sure, I understand these could be steps closer to real A.I., and I guess since we also talk about "animal intelligence" you could argue that a chatbot with sophisticated predictive models and access to a vast amount of data is a kind of intelligence. But if we are using "A.I." to mean artificial human intelligence, I don't think we are there yet. It's jumping the gun a bit to call anything that is out today as actual A.I.

Put another way, if you had asked just about anyone a few years ago what they mean by a computer that counts as "artificial intelligence" they would describe something like C3P0, not a program that can compose a bullshit B- level college essay with a bunch of made-up citations based on a couple of word prompts. The idea of A.I. is exciting, but I think we still have a long way to go.