The Real Risk of Artificial Intelligence

“When a computer spits out a decision, we are typically unable to see how it got there…” – BBC World Changing Ideas Summit, Sydney, 2015.

In the most elemental way, artificial intelligence is having a machine do some task or function that most would consider it require intelligence when humans do them: knowing how to respond to someone that is speaking to you, knowing which child is yours in a photograph, operating a vehicle, or some other choice or decision that requires thousands of “if, then” type paths to take to arrive at a conclusion. This is different than a robotic arm on an assembly line that does one movement, regardless of how complex, throughout the day. This article suggests that we may become too dependent on AI in the future. More alarmingly is that we may not be able to understand how a particular AI reached a particular decision which means that we will not know how to prevent or change that process from making an unwanted decision again. RE

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