Sunday, September 2, 2018

Artificial Dis-Intelligence

At first blush, most of us would say, “I don’t rely on artificial intelligence.” Perhaps we do! I rely on the automatic spelling in my word processor so that I don’t have to remember the spelling of every word. Though I enjoy the machine working for me, this is artificial dis-intelligence.

I rely on terabytes of indexed information to sort trillions of pages of web data. Consider doing a search in Google’s engine for the word “love.” It returns 12.5 billion results. Narrowing the search to “love of self” returns 1.5 billion pages. Narrowing it further to “love of self in postpartum depression” gives over 143 million pages. Even adding, “Harvard journal love of self in postpartum depression,” one finds 463,000 pages. The algorithm-based sorting of pages presents “the top hits.” At best I read the first 50 or 100 suggestions.

I trust a mathematical formula to present me salient items to read. I can only absorb so much information and rely on the search engine’s algorithm to select pages for me. Albeit essential, this is artificial dis-intelligence.