Polanyi & The Black Box

Clues To The Future of AI & Mankind

The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42 — HAL 9000 in Douglas Adam’s A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

In this article, readers can understand:

This Week

It was a week filled with coincidences. But, then again there are no coincidences and everything happens for a reason. Three inputs coincided to prompt me to write this article:

General Vocabulary

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are not the same. Artificial Intelligence is a much broader term. Artificial Intelligence is the the notion of making computers smarter maybe smarter than humans. AI is of two broad types i.e. Applied and General. Applied is fairly common and is currently being used to automate routine tasks like fill forms, trade stocks etc. Generalized AI is the ability to perform any task smartly like humans. It has not yet been achieved but that is where the future lies.

Polanyi’s Paradox & The Black Box Problem

In 1966, the philosopher Michael Polanyi observed, “We can know more than we can tell… The skill of a driver cannot be replaced by a thorough schooling in the theory of the motorcar; the knowledge I have of my own body differs altogether from the knowledge of its physiology.” (Source: NBER)

VC Investment in Startups

There is a war for talent today especially scientists and engineers specializing in ML and AI. Andrew Ng quit Google to join Baidu as chief data scientist but left Baidu too.

Final Thoughts

One thing is clear : it is time to start re-educating yourself around data science, ML and AI.

  1. 15–30 years from 2017: As AI progresses and a lot of jobs could be lost. Humans need to respond by being able to create new safety nets, continue educating themselves for new jobs created. Creativity and originality become vital traits. There is a global discussion on the future and international co-operation becomes inevitable.
  2. 30–50 years from 2017: AI may become superhuman. Humans may respond by becoming cybernetic beings. Other human endeavors such as space exploration, deep sea mapping and possible colonization of other planets.
  3. Alternatively, singularity is delayed because of the limitations of physics or a social uprising. AI becomes too socially disruptive and creates more havoc yet it still continues solve problems including medical issues. Universal Basic Income may be enhanced and other safety nets may be needed.

Additional Resources:

  1. Google TensorFlow: An open source platform for developers to build Machine Learning applications. Twitter: @tensorflow
  2. Google DeepMind: is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact. Twitter:@deepmindai
  3. Andrew Ng : co-founder of Coursera, Andrew also founded Google’s Deep Learning project. You can follow him on twitter: @andrewyng
  4. Polanyi’s Paradox: National Bureau of Economic Research on the paradox.
  5. The Business of Artificial Intelligence, HBR, July 18, 2017.
  6. Erik Brynjolfsson: He’s the director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Twitter: @erikbryn
  7. Demis Hassabis: Founder and CEO, Deepmind. Twitter: @demishassabis
  8. Sam DeBrule : The Non-Technical Guide To Machine Learning
  9. Partnership on AI: Founded by Microsoft, Apple, Google, Deepmind, the partnership on AI seeks to educate society and drive AI forward.

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Writer @ The Intersection of Finance, Tech & Humanity. Stories of a Global Language: “Money”. Contributor @ Startup Grind, HackerNoon, HBR. Twitter@akothari_mba

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