Sorry Elon Musk, but you are also wrong on AI
Ryan Khurana

Damn, what a terribly written and researched article.

First, Musk’s only voiced concern with exponential AI advancement is that a user could give a self-improving AI a utility function without sufficient safeguards, and the AI could take destructive action to achieve that utility function. This has nothing to do with loss of jobs or “superintelligence”, which is neither a specification nor a concern. This concern is voiced in his interviews here and here.

Now, I don’t agree with the guy, but you don’t have to go putting words in his mouth.

Secondly, you state that there are “Social, legal, and economic barriers” to innovation. In reality, if it’s profitable, companies will entirely ignore these things. The technical aspect of innovation is the only thing holding us back. Your linked article is actually just a clickbait headline — pretty similar to yours — because it states ““There is only one responsible thing to do and that is to embrace it and see the opportunities … We are now in a race as to who uses all of this technology the most effectively to increase productivity and to be globally competitive. If you put your head in the sand you get the opposite. You lose competitiveness and lose jobs.”

The chief concern of chiefs across the globe isn’t anything to do with the legal or social system — it’s just money.

You also state that “Innovation that would result in mass joblessness would not occur unless there is a public willingness to accept the benefits that machines bring in exchange.”

This is perhaps the most laughable line in your entire article. I regularly shop at McDonald’s. Did I miss the memo when they asked my permission to install entirely automated touch-screen ordering kiosks so they could cut down on staff? Does Ford inform everyone who buys a car that their factory lines are almost entirely automated? Not a chance. When United Airlines threw someone from the seat they paid for, knocking them unconscious, neither their stocks nor their business took a hit. How can you think any members of the public are able to stop, or even affect company practice?

You note that AI will not replace jobs due to the difficulty of programming “social and emotional capabilities, multiple agent coordination, and creativity”. These things aren’t required in 90% of employment. Your first example is ATMs vs bank tellers. In reality, ATMs are a tiny part of that tech that will replace banks — the rest being powerful web interfaces, cryptocurrencies, and so on. Your point is similar to saying that “Tractors are entirely automated, but we still need farmers. Therefore, farmers will always exist.” In reality, we just haven’t created the technical means to replace these things yet — but we will, and very soon.

Your next example is that AI can never replace doctors. Harvard and Oxford would beg to differ: “… AI will not only support physicians in their work, but also ultimately replace them. The argument that technology cannot be empathic is moot, they argue, and many aspects of professional work do not require compassion. The authors argue that judgment, creativity and empathy are not necessary to the practice of medicine.” (source)

Issues surrounding AI are far more technical and complex than the average Medium blogger can understand. You should be aware of this, lest you make unsubstantiated claims that are technically incorrect and make obvious your total lack of understanding of this topic.

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