AI is not so much a tech buzzword, most of the people who work in AI know AI is not particularly sophisticated at the moment. But between the media, and the marketing hype around AI, I feel safe in saying AI is the new IoT. We will now have AI toasters and hairbrushes, IoT hairbrush the way we got stupid IoT devices a few years ago.
Now we get IoT devices that spy on us transparently, and pointless marketing AI tech. For example, AI Botox, after a serious media push a saw 10 high profile articles about AI powered Botox, and only one skeptical post, in a small tech blog. To quote that blog post,
“I sit convinced AI Botox is still at the “wow, oh wow, that is a gimmick” stage. In the Esquire article, it’s clear that the AI did very little. A human took photos, and an AI procedurally generated some dots. And a human, almost certainly a human who is a Registered Nurse, administered some Botox.”
Yes some AI in healthcare is amazing, but most of the AI is the same as the IoT hairbrush. Really, the AI people rant about my someday be a powerful god that people like Sam Harris and Stuart J. Russell fear, but that seems to be far, far way. Right now AI is at baby levels, and the real flaws of AI come from human dependency on infantile technology.
We have outsources tasks like job search to really dumb AI’s to avoid discriminatory hiring law suits, and that has done little by harm both the job sneakers, and the companies seeking talent. We use AI to make determinations about bail amounts, and predictive policing is horrifying. AI’s reflect human bias, but the AI like like the hologram of a wizard we, humans can hide behind to claim we are not bias. Criminal justice, and human corporate hiring practices already have a lot of flaws, AI is making them worse.
The way AI handles search and social algorithms makes it easy for everyone of every political opinion to clam that bias is agents them. We live in a wold where people claim AI is some magic, a magic that is fore the most part unimpressive and disruptive due to the power we have collectively given it.
The problem isn’t AI, it’s human’s wiliness to act like the AI is a wizard, the great and powerful AI. Now AI is getting hyped in all kinds of application where AI has no place. In an article called The 6 unholy AI systems thou shalt not develop Tristan Greene says.
“Artificial intelligence may be the most powerful tool humans have. When applied properly to a problem suited for it, AI allows humans to do amazing things. We can diagnose cancer at a glance or give a voice to those who cannot speak by simply applying the right algorithm in the correct way.“
Sadly nearly every system he names is in some stage of development. Most will be as useless as AI botox, but if someone claimed the AI could tell a person was evil, and people used that AI to purge the evil form humanity, the damage is done. AI is good at doing stupid things a bit faster. AI is good at creating transcriptions, and looking for abnormality in medical imaging. AI is good for searching and finding information.
But lately AI is mostly good at being a scapegoat, allowing people to do exactly that they want, and to say “the AI made me do it”.