Saturday, March 21, 2015

#80 / Algorithmic

I have been relaying concerns about our apparent efforts to replace human intelligence with "artificial" intelligence. Lots of people (intelligent people) don't think that this is a very good idea:

But what if we forget about the "intelligence" part, and just promote the "artificial?"

We are pretty much doing that right now, according to an article in The New York Times: "If an Algorithm Wrote This How Would You Even Know?"

I did NOT know that some of the text I read, and maybe even a lot of it, has come to me without the need for any human author to be involved. 

This does not strike me as a very positive sign, thinking about the future of the human race. 

In so many ways, we are dispensing with the need for actual human beings to be involved in lots of the things we do. No need for human bankers. We have ATMs. No need for human check out clerks. We have self-checkout stands at the hardware store and the grocery store. No need for librarians. They have been replaced with electronic stand ins.

If I were a sports fan, I'd like to know if the Angels beat the Red Sox. 

Want to know? Check out the article

No need for a sports reporter to write out a description of the game. 

We've got an algorithm for that!

Text Credit:
Gary A. Patton (himself)
Image Credit:


  1. Again with the zombie lie that there's no need for librarians! I know several librarians! They have not been replaced. Their jobs have changed so they do less menial work and have more time to help people find things in the library. Stop spreading this lie, Gary.

  2. You can keep on bringing up your unjustified fear of artificial intelligence, and I'll keep telling you that soft AI are our tools, nothing more. Strong AI is, aside from fiction, nothing to fear.

  3. AI is nothing to fear; it's something to keep in a deep hole covered over by a large boulder.

    Notice in the referenced article that artificial writing programs are used by large corporations to make money without the expense and messy inconvenience of flesh and blood writers.

    One is reminded of the original Luddites, who protested against technology innovations that destroyed traditional methods of weaving and drove thousands of craftspeople out of their villages into menial factory jobs in the cities.

    This is not a technology problem, it is a social problem, based in the overweening consumer capitalist economic system that places profits over people and the natural world.

    "Capitalism: Nothing so mean could be right. Greed is the ugliest of the capital sins." --Edward Abbey

  4. The Luddites were as wrong in their day as the Neo-Luddites are today.


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