AI Is Magic

*I posted this on Mastodon a couple weeks ago and I'm not sure why I did that instead of posting it here. So here it is.

The best description I've ever heard of AI is the following. I heard this in the 80s, and it has held up since:

AI is magic.

  1. You see a magic trick. You are amazed by the magic.
  2. You are shown how the trick works. You are impressed by the technique.
  3. You learn how to perform the trick. Now it's not magic, it's sleight-of-hand, or mirrors, or misdirection.

This is why "AI" is always bullshit: once you understand it, it's not AI any more, it's something else.

Some things that used to be AI but aren't any more:

  • production systems
  • expert systems
  • semantic networks
  • theorem provers
  • Bayesian inference
  • putting parentheses around data and calling it "knowledge"
  • computational linguistics
  • genetic algorithms
  • machine translation

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Vaping is for TEENS, Ms. Lane. TEENS.There is so much that is awful about Picard, but one of the things that irritates me most is that everyone smokes now. What is this, a Netflix show? Am I again seeing the Invisible Hand of Philip Morris? (Slogan -- and I am not making this up -- "delivering a smoke-free future")

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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