“Artificial Intelligence” as the name of a research field vs a characteristic of being.

You haven’t built / you’re not collaborating with “An Artificial Intelligence”.

http://www.memo.tv/portfolio/meet-your-creator/

This is a quick brain dump that I can point to when needed (rather often).

Just one of the many reasons I’m not fond of the term Artificial Intelligence, is because it’s worded in such a way that it creates confusion between the research field, and a characteristic of being.

I’ll try to use Biology as an analogue. While this is not a one-to-one correspondence, I hope it will be useful.

Life (noun) / alive (adj.) — like intelligence (noun) / intelligent (adj.) — is a category invented by humans. Unlike intelligence, we have managed to formulate slightly more rigorous definitions of what life is. However, particularly at the boundaries, we find that these definitions often fail. Viruses are a famous example that fall outside the traditional definition of life, while James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis [1] argues that Planet Earth satisfies the conditions required to call the planet itself a living organism. Especially now that we are looking for signs of life in space, we find that we may need to rethink our definitions, to be more inclusive of other forms of life [2] [3].

But aside from the definition of life itself, I’d like to draw attention to the term Biology.

Biology is the name of the field that studies life and living systems. This includes studying the ingredients required for systems to exhibit living behaviour, and to be considered alive, and how those components integrate and connect with each other. Amino Acids are by no definition considered to be alive. They’re organic molecules that act as building blocks for proteins, which in turn we believe to be an important component for what we call Life (related: discovery of self-replicating proteins [4]!). If I were to say “Amino Acids are studied in (or as part of) biology”, it should be quite clear to everybody reading or listening, that I am in no way claiming Amino Acids themselves to be alive. Furthermore, if you incorporate Amino Acids in a system, it doesn’t automatically make that system alive.

Artificial Intelligence is the name of the field that studies intelligence and intelligent systems. This includes studying the ingredients required for systems to exhibit intelligent behaviour, and to be considered intelligent, and how those components integrate and connect with each other. Computer vision, speech recognition, learning, even simple search and path-finding algorithms are studied (among many other things) as part of the field of Artificial Intelligence, as they are characteristics and behaviours which we have observed in intelligent systems (such as ourselves), and we believe would be beneficial to include when designing intelligent agents. Interestingly, if I were to say “X (e.g. a computer vision, speech recognition, learning, search or path-finding algorithm), is studied in (or as part of) artificial intelligence”, I’ve observed many people to misinterpret this as a claim that this automatically makes the system intelligent. This is a misunderstanding of the usage of the term Artificial Intelligence. If you incorporate X in a system (e.g. in your software), it doesn’t automatically make that system intelligent.

It definitely doesn’t make it *An* Artificial Intelligence.

(yes, even if you use neural networks or other forms of machine learning).

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computational ar̹͒ti͙̕s̼͒t engineer curious philomath; nature ∩ science ∩ tech ∩ ritual; spirituality ∩ arithmetic; PhD AI×expressive human-machine interaction;

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Memo Akten

Memo Akten

computational ar̹͒ti͙̕s̼͒t engineer curious philomath; nature ∩ science ∩ tech ∩ ritual; spirituality ∩ arithmetic; PhD AI×expressive human-machine interaction;