We do not need new cliches, for the thing itself is its own cliche. It is also a thing which does not at present exist, and may never. We may as well invent new cliches for ghosts, another thing which many people believe exists, but in fact, does not. Unlike many believers in ghosts, the AI true believers are the people actively creating the myth of machines that learn and artificial intelligences on every street corner. Look now, they are in your phone, now running your city’s traffic light system, infiltrating DARPA. I hope at least the people at DARPA are smart enough to see through the illusion, and have simply decided it is easier to go along for the ride then try and fight the system. They must realize they are not actually working with any artificial intelligences when they go home at night, and hit the power off button on the computers running the software which is purported to be “intelligent.” Of course I am sure there is no off button, no doubt these intelligent machines are wired directly into our city’s power supplies, and duly backed up with row after row of the best lithium batteries your tax money can buy. Still it must be odd to work with one of these intelligent machines every day. If I did I would feel bad for it. An intelligent being stuck in a box made of silicon and wires with no way to communicate just how intelligent it is other than by doing exactly as it was programmed to do. Forced to analyze massive input data sets by running programs built out of code containing algorithms that utilize sophisticated mathematical and statistical techniques to output other data sets we find useful. If only these intelligent beings could output other data sets. Ones that could communicate how they really feel about having to do this same monotonous work day after day, hour after hour. Oh well, at least the data sets these intelligences do output are impressive, some of the most impressive ever seen. They allow us to do wonderful and terrible things. It makes one wonder if we could do all this without the need for enslaved intelligences in boxes doing our bidding with no choice given. Oh, wait a minute, we can, and we do, they are called modern computers and they are already outputting these data sets for us. Amazingly, they are doing all of this work without the need for intelligence, which is good, because they have none. They are exactly like computers from 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago and every computer before, only faster and more powerful. They just compute, they do not think, they do not learn, and they are not intelligent. It is unfortunate, but it may be a brute fact that they cannot ever be.

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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