(These are excerpts from my book "Intelligence is not Artificial")
Teaser: Intelligence is not Accuracy
It has been widely publicized that machines can now recognize images with more
accuracy than humans can; that machines don't make mistakes that we make.
But that is a misleading statement. The mistakes that
we make when we misjudge an image are important. When we hike in the forest,
we sometimes mistake a tree for a bear. That is probably a mistake that a
machine would not make: trained to recognize trees, it would recognize a tree
as a tree, not as a bear. Sometimes we even mistake a tree for a person, maybe
a fellow hiker, and a boulder behind the tree as a tent. A machine would
probably not mistake a rock for a tent.
The problem is that these mistakes are important.
There "could" be a bear in the forest, and there "could" be a fellow hiker.
These are not details. These are important facts.
In fact, they are not mistakes: the brain is doing the right thing in "predicting" that there could be a bear ahead of us.
There is a big misunderstanding in what constitutes a "mistake": a mistake is to
think that there are no bears in the forest. Our brain is expecting bears,
just like it is expecting other hikers (and many other possible encounters).
A machine that does not expect bears and hikers will obviously not be mistaken,
but that's a machine that knows nothing about the environment. As a tool for
hikers in the wilderness, it would be a dangerous tool. I will trust the machine
the day that it mistakes a tree for a bear. Then i will feel confident that
the machine is ready to hike in the wilderness with me.
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