The Branding Dilemma of AI: Steering Towards Efficient Regulation

Blog by Zeynep Engin: “…Undoubtedly, the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has captured the public imagination, proving to be an excellent choice from a marketing standpoint (particularly serving the marketing goals of big AI tech companies). However, this has not been without its drawbacks. The field has experienced several ‘AI winters’ when lofty promises failed to translate into real-world outcomes. More critically, this term has anthropomorphized what are, at their core, high-dimensional statistical optimization processes. Such representation has obscured their true nature and the extent of their potential. Moreover, as computing capacities have expanded exponentially, the ability of these systems to process large datasets quickly and precisely, identifying patterns autonomously, has often been misinterpreted as evidence of human-like or even superhuman intelligence. Consequently, AI systems have been elevated to almost mystical status, perceived as incomprehensible to humans and, thus, uncontrollable by humans…

A profound shift in the discourse surrounding AI is urgently necessary. The quest to replicate or surpass human intelligence, while technologically fascinating, does not fully encapsulate the field’s true essence and progress. Indeed, AI has seen significant advances, uncovering a vast array of functionalities. However, its core strength still lies in computational speed and precision — a mechanical prowess. The ‘magic’ of AI truly unfolds when this computational capacity intersects with the wealth of real-world data generated by human activities and the environment, transforming human directives into computational actions. Essentially, we are now outsourcing complex processing tasks to machines, moving beyond crafting bespoke solutions for each problem in favour of leveraging vast computational resources we have. This transition does not yield an ‘artificial intelligence’, but poses a new challenge to human intelligence in the knowledge creation cycle: the responsibility to formulate the ‘right’ questions and vigilantly monitor the outcomes of such intricate processing, ensuring the mitigation of any potential adverse impacts…(More)”.

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