Podcast Episode

Gigaom AI Minute – June 19

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In this episode, Byron talks about whether or not artificial intelligence is intelligence.

Gigaom brings you our unique analysis and commentary on the present and future of AI.


Intelligence: I've talked a lot about how it's not really a term that's well defined, or even a concept that's well understood. I pose the question, "Is a computer that plays chess intelligent?" I mean, even, "Is it intelligent at playing chess?"

I think about crows. Crows have been shown to be able to add rocks to a glass of water to raise the level of the water so they can have a drink. So they understand the basic idea that rocks can displace water. In other words, they figure something out, they're confronted with something that they haven't necessarily seen before, maybe they've seen similar things to it, but they figure it out.

I don't think that computers really figure anything out, any more than a river figures out how to make it to the ocean. I mean at one level you can say it figures it out, it goes ever lower, turns here and goes down there and eventually ends up in the ocean, so it figures it out, but not in the same way the crow figures out the problem. So I think, in the end, although we call artificial intelligence "intelligence" and computer intelligence and all of the rest, it isn't anymore intelligent than the river is intelligent in finding its way to the ocean.

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