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Has your bot got you by the short and curlies?


Has your bot got you by the short and curlies?

AI isn’t on the cusp of sentience, but its growing inscrutability and sway over us should still be cause for concern

Parmy Olson

It was an exasperating week for computer scientists. They’ve been falling over each other to publicly denounce claims from Google engineer Blake Lemoine, chronicled in a Washington Post report, that his employer’s language-predicting system was sentient and deserved all of the rights associated with consciousness.

To be clear, artificial intelligence (AI) systems are decades away from being able to experience feelings and may never do so.

Their smarts today are confined to very narrow tasks such as matching faces, recommending movies or predicting word sequences. No one has figured out how to make machine-learning systems generalise intelligence in the way humans do. We can hold conversations, walk, drive cars and empathise. No computer has anywhere near those capabilities...

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