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AI Bull In A Marcus China Shop

“AI doesn’t understand facts, truth, or privacy. It is a reckless bull in a china shop, and we should demand better, Says Gary Marcus.

When I invited Marcus, emeritus professor of psychology and neural science at NYU, to join me on stage at SXSW, I knew we were going to create a bit of a firestorm.

In the realm of artificial intelligence, Gary is the quintessential rebel with a cause. He stands out — not just for his contrarian views but for his willingness to challenge the very foundation of what many believe AI can achieve. He’s not just another voice in the crowd; he’s the one yelling from the back, urging everyone to stop and reconsider the path they’re on.

And after years studying the future of truth, I have come to believe that — at a time when truth seems hard to find — there’s growing danger that we’ll hand truth over to the robots, and hope they figure it out.

Gary proposes an alternative future for AI. He integrates insights from cognitive science and developmental psychology, suggesting that AI should be as much about understanding the workings of the human mind as it is about coding and algorithms.

His advocacy for a hybrid AI model — one that combines the pattern recognition power of neural networks with the logical structure of symbolic systems — reflects his belief in a balanced, interdisciplinary approach to creating machines that can truly think and learn.

Certainly, Gary and I don’t agree on everything.

He often highlights the importance of considering the ethical implications of AI development, including the potential for biases in AI systems, the impact of AI on employment, and the need for transparency and accountability in AI research and application.

I agree with him up to a point, but would argue that putting AI in charge of everything risks a survival-of-the-fittest world where everything from traffic lights, to prescriptions, to what books you can read and what planes you can fly on is handed over to a profit-driven AI that turns every piece of or lives into an auction for our time, health and survival.

Already, social platforms turn our children’s attention into AI attention farms, selling their clicks out to whoever will pay more. And as we now know, child sexual exploitation often generates the most unwanted attention.

The conversation is going to be frothy — and, given the massive SXSW AI track, we’re expecting lots of conversation about AI’s promise and danger.

In the narrative of AI’s evolution, Gary is the rebel who reminds us that progress isn’t just about moving forward; it’s about moving in the right direction. He calls for a revolution in AI: a shift from the pursuit of artificial intelligence to the cultivation of artificial understanding. This rebellion isn’t just about technology; it’s about philosophy, ethics, and the future of humanity itself.

If you’re in Austin, join us for a conversation about AI and the Future of Truth, March 11, 2:30pm.

https://schedule.sxsw.com/2024/events/PP146254?source=post_page—–81107c8e49d1——————————–

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