Artificial intelligence has become increasingly intertwined with how we live, work and enjoy ourselves. From applications of AI in image recognition and image mapping, to the proliferation of smart speakers and personal assistants, the use of AI in society is on the rise. It has become so familiar that its, shall we say, part of the furniture. In the weekly business affairs segment on the popular tech podcast ClickHole, this was what several of the guests had to say about the topic.
The premise of AI Art is that we have steadily become a culture of image processors. Our perceptions of the world are influenced by our visual cognition, and the technology that allows us to perceive that information is another tool that facilitates our viewpoint. Is this a morally neutral process or an evil one? Should a scientist be able to determine a potentially strong dis-incentive of beauty through algorithmic tools? These were some of the questions explored. After a panel discussion on the subject hosted by Silicon Valley-based tech reporter Anna Kessler, a heated argument ensued.
Mark Vernon, a British technologist and author who also hosts a show about AI, was rather unequivocal in his conclusion. He believes we already have the edge over nature, and that the use of AI is only going to make it harder for nature to make things by itself. “The biologist’s job is to understand nature,” he said. “The man’s job is to provide the means by which nature can do it.”
Meanwhile, New York-based psychologist Anna Coto observed that in the hands of an AI researcher, “beauty is less obvious to us because it’s so unnatural.” She argued that our natural connection to nature is exciting, and that humans “are just so interested in the grand sweep of the natural world.” But, she added, it’s not technology that drives people away from nature, but rather science itself. When the interest is purely artificial, people retreat further, she said. “No wonder you can’t get water out of a tap anymore,” she said.
It’s a thorough debate that’s worthy of a full, thoughtful response. But at the end of the day, it turned out there isn’t really a debate. Yes, some might disagree, but they’re not going to succeed.
Read the full story at The Wrap.
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