Website Users GeoIP Visualization
Website Users GeoIP Visualization

It’s a mad mad mad mad world.

Autopiloting cars using AI.

Why? Because we cannot trust human drivers? Or it is because corporations just want to make more money by replacing human taxi drivers?

AI flags Fake News.

Why? Because humans are so stupid they trust what they read and are too lazy to do the research to find out if what they are reading is true or not? For most of you out there with half a brain, you can pretty easily read something and think “hmmm, this does not sound right”. But it seems there is enough “stupid people” in the USA that fake news active measures and selective leaking of information by foreigners (seemingly coordinated with American political operatives) can influence key democratic elections.

My point is this.

I write a lot of code, build a lot of algorithms to flag risk and malicious activity on the Internet, create stunning 3D visualizations, build and manage web based systems and resources, write multi-sensor data fusion algorithms for fun; just to name a few of my weekly activities. Unlike the vast majority of the people I know, I am not just a consumer of IT; I can easily sit down, envision, design, and build IT solutions that interest me. Actually, I create most of my algorithms and solve most software development roadblocks when I am asleep or nearly asleep, undistracted by the material world. Honestly, I’m not fascinated in IT from the “gee whiz” perspective of a consumer of IT.

But when I read the posts on Facebook or LinkedIn, and when I read the latest buzz about this technology and that technology, I feel sad for humanity. From my perspective, it seems like, from a humanity perspective, that big corporations have decided that humans are just so stupid that they must create “artificial intelligence” to do tasks that casual IT consumers cannot do.

Many people that I interact with, even many supposedly IT people, think “AI” is going to save the world and solve problems which humans cannot solve. This premise displays the ignorance of lazy humans – consumerism versus being a truly productive member of society. By “productive” I mean “working to advance humanity” as a whole – the ethics taught to scientists and engineers in school.

As I said, I write a lot of code, and I can write and or implement AI algorithms and code; and my experience is that it’s the human mind which is intelligent, not machines who just do what they are coded to do. For example an “artificial neural network” (ANN) is often cited as “AI” technology, but an ANN is just a programmable decision support algorithm. An ANN is not intelligence, artificially or not. It’s just code written by humans that does what humans tell the machine to do.

The same is true for Bayesian networks, all neural networks, and a whole genre of “Googleable” tradecraft and methods that support decision-making.

Writing the code requires intelligence. Engineering a building requires intelligence. However the code is not intelligent nor is the code “artificially intelligence” no more than a watch is “artificially intelligent” because it “tells” time.

AI seems to have the underlying meaning “humanity has decided that they are destined but be dominated by stupid IT consumers who have low intelligence; so those low intelligence people must be “assisted” by code written by the smart IT people.”

This is really a sad state of humanity if you ask me. We truly live in a mad mad mad mad world.