President Obama on why we need new language to talk about A.I.

From an interesting interview of Scott Dadich for Wired with Joi Ito – head of MIT media lab – and President Obama: 

My general observation is that it has been seeping into our lives in all sorts of ways, and we just don’t notice; and part of the reason is because the way we think about AI is colored by popular culture.

There’s a distinction, which is probably familiar to a lot of your readers, between generalized AI and specialized AI. In science fiction, what you hear about is generalized AI, right? Computers start getting smarter than we are and eventually conclude that we’re not all that useful, and then either they’re drugging us to keep us fat and happy or we’re in the Matrix. My impression, based on talking to my top science advisers, is that we’re still a reasonably long way away from that. It’s worth thinking about because it stretches our imaginations and gets us thinking about the issues of choice and free will that actually do have some significant applications for specialized AI, which is about using algorithms and computers to figure out increasingly complex tasks.

We’ve been seeing specialized AI in every aspect of our lives, from medicine and transportation to how electricity is distributed, and it promises to create a vastly more productive and efficient economy. If properly harnessed, it can generate enormous prosperity and opportunity. But it also has some downsides that we’re gonna have to figure out in terms of not eliminating jobs. It could increase inequality. It could suppress wages.

Joi Ito komt met het voorstel om het ipv artificial intelligence, extended intelligence te noemen:

Everybody needs to understand that how AI behaves is important. In the Media Lab we use the term extended intelligence1. Because the question is, how do we build societal values into AI?