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Don't Be Dazzled by Claims of Artificial Intelligence

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Futuristic face emerges from data.

What gets called "AI" is in fact pattern-recognition systems that process unfathomable amounts of data using enormous amounts of computing resources.

Credit: Getty Images

We are living in an age of artificial intelligence (AI), but not how the companies selling it would have you believe. According to Silicon Valley, machines are rapidly surpassing human performance on a variety of tasks from mundane, but well-defined and useful ones, such as automatic transcription, to much vaguer skills, such as "reading comprehension" and "visual understanding." According to some, these skills even represent rapid progress toward artificial general intelligence.

Given these grand and ultimately false claims, we need media coverage that holds tech companies to account. Far too often, what we get instead is breathless "gee whiz" reporting.

From The Seattle Times
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