AI Is Not Working

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

AI is present in all our daily decisions and it seems it will continue like this for a long time. I think it’s the moment to embrace what AI has to offer, but also accept its limitations. It doesn’t work like a human brain and it doesn’t understand our society’s complexity.

The systems we create around AI, for instance with machine learning, are black boxes. We know the input and the output of the pipeline, but we know nothing about the process. And it seems most of the population is fine with it or at least, seems to be happy enough with the output.

Common sense is what makes us different from the rest of human beings. We are able to build systems that imitate our brains and we transfer our thoughts and core beliefs.

Common sense is defined as:

The basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way.

Personally, I find this definition astonishing. And here is why: Common sense helps us to live in a reasonable and safe way, but I wonder if this is how we are all living now. Is AI really helping us to achieve this goal?

We can train our machines with more inputs and tell them what is right or wrong, but there are situations where things need to be analyzed closely. And that is only possible with each situation’s context. Fortunately, human understanding can decide what to do in each case. Machines can be useful to assess human behaviors, but can’t decide on our behalf. Context is what gives sense to each decision taken. And that’s the reason why machines will never replace us.

We need to bring a little bit of rationality to our robots in an era where profitability is important. Engineers are under pressure to develop fast and cheap products and logic is set aside on many occasions.

The lack of context in AI can be solved with ethicists and activists who can provide more understanding to the design and development of new systems. Many people might think ethics will delay the future development of AI. The truth is it will provide a new perspective to the tasks, providing the pipeline a better picture of what engineers are developing.

People with this knowledge should be present during the whole process (data collection included). It’s not enough to test our final products once they’re ready for sale or when we receive negative comments from consumers.

Ethicists and data activists can save our digital world from bad practices. And their presence will be key for better AI development in the following years. Tech companies will be able to build astonishing projects suitable for everyone regardless of their origin, skin color, sex, or gender. Once a company is aware of the complexity that surrounds us, it will provide smarter and better solutions for everyone.

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