Opining about the future of AI at the recent Brilliant Minds event at Symposium Stockholm, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt rejected warnings from Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking about the dangers of AI, saying, "In the case of Stephen Hawking, although a brilliant man, he's not a computer scientist. Elon is also a brilliant man, though he too is a physicist, not a computer scientist." This absurd dismissal of Musk and Hawking was in response to an absurd question about "the possibility of an artificial superintelligence trying to destroy mankind in the near future." However, in Commander #1's immortal words, "We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger."
We just used a few overeducated millennials and some open-source code to get a bunch of cognitive nonrepetitive workers fired. Which sucks! Incredibly, we didn’t use AI or machine learning to do it, just imagination and some free stuff. The bad news is that unless these people learn to do higher-value cognitive nonrepetitive work, they are not going to be employable. And the really bad news is that even if they do learn to do higher-value cognitive nonrepetitive work, when we start using machine learning and AI tools to do their jobs, they will actually be unemployable.
I don’t like to discuss religion or politics in polite company. It’s pointless. Both subjects provoke passionate lectures espousing personal worldviews, and minds are seldom, if ever, changed. But … after watching some of the speeches and debates, reading some tweets, and switching between the parade of pundits on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, I've started to wonder what @tjeff (my hypothetical twitter handle for a reincarnated Thomas Jefferson) would have had to do to find the facts upon which to base his independent thinking.
Apple v. FBI has started a serious debate about the line between security and privacy. The FBI says this is a case about the contents of one specific iPhone 5c. Apple says this is a case about securing data for everyone. Since current vintage iPhones (5s, 6, 6s) can not be hacked the same way, we should not be talking about a particular phone; we should be talking about encryption writ large, and how it is used in our daily lives.
Apple v. FBI is headed for the Supreme Court. The problem is, I don't want the Supreme Court (or any court) empowered to make policy – that's a job for the Legislative branch. Regardless of what you think of Congress, they’d better get this one right. What it means to be a digital citizen and identifying the border between security and privacy are two of the most important issues of our time.