Intelligent?

Days after the «No-Facebook-Day» that can probably be seen as an extension of Lent we follow suit and won’t publish a post with reference to Facebook. Quite the opposite is the case ;-), as we will focus hereafter on “intelligence” or at least what the general public mostly defines as such. On the one hand, many of us are “precautionarily” afraid of artificial intelligence which is supposed to make human thinking, work and actions redundant. I do have my doubts in regard to that, however, when I look at what kind of products hardware and software companies try to sell as “intelligent”. Hardly any new electronic device – be that a fridge, a laptop up to a simple frying pan – is launched without being promoted for its “intelligence”. But what they try to sell as “intelligent” is usually nothing more than the fact that this product might be a bit better than its predecessor: The fridge now realizes that its empty (something we can’t notice quite that easily), the laptop turns itself off after a few minutes of inactivity, and the frying pan has an integrated timer for the predetermined cooking time. The classic example of misconceived intelligence to me is still the “intelligent folders” in e-mail applications or operating systems. Such folders collect data and mails according to criteria that I have to define with my own brain. If that is what’s called “intelligent”, I’m pretty confident that we and our brains will still be needed in the future.

02.05.2019

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