Recently, Gary Smith, who writes on all things statistical for Mind Matters News, reviewed the results of using AI to make investment decisions. It turns out that, like so many other strategies aimed at getting ahead in the stock market, the performance was markedly mediocre. At the end of the day, AI-based investing actually performed like a bad index fund.
As many people, including George Gilder, Peter Thiel, and Eric Holloway, have pointed out, the key to wealth generation is not tracking historical statistical data but novel thinking. What we need is not old data but new truths. As we learn genuinely novel truths about the world we live in, we become more productive members of it. And it is that productivity that yields economic benefits.
What is needed is not a tally of past statistical relations, such as a machine can create, but an understanding of the future and where we want to go. As we have pointed out here at Mind Matters News, knowing how information gets created is essential to knowing where the value in the market comes from.
Artificial intelligence is, at best, a derivative form of understanding. It may do well summarizing data, but the new insights that will lead the economy forward cannot be gleaned that way.
Here’s a straw in the wind from last November: Pizza robots get the pink slip. True, the doughbots in the back of the vans didn’t make good pizza. But is the message really about them or maybe about something else? How about: Artificial intelligence is not, in principle, the solution to every problem. That’s where creativity comes in.
2019 AI Hype Countdown #5: Transhumanism never grows old. The idea that we can upload our brains to computers to avoid death shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between types of thinking. Computers are very effective but they operate with a very limited set of causal abilities. Humans work from an entirely different set of causal abilities. Uploading your brain to a computer is not a question of technology. It can’t work in principle.
2019 AI Hype Countdown #6 In May of this year, The Scientist ran a series of pieces suggesting that we could automate the process of acquiring scientific knowledge. In reality, without appropriate human supervision, AI is just as likely to find false or unimportant patterns as real ones. Additionally, the overuse of AI in science is actually leading to a reproducibility crisis.
2019 AI Hype Countdown #7: “Robot rights” grabs the mike. If we could make intelligent and sentient AIs, wouldn’t that mean we would have to stop programming them? AI programs are just that programs. Nothing in such a program could make it conscious. We may as well think that if we make sci-fi life-like enough, we should start worrying about Darth Vader really taking over the galaxy.
2019 AI Hype Countdown #8: Media started doing their job! Yes, this year, there has been a reassuring trend: Media are offering more critical assessment of off-the-wall AI hype. One factor in the growing sobriety may be that, as AI technology transitions from dreams to reality, the future belongs to leaders who are pragmatic about its abilities and limitations.
2019 AI Hype Countdown #9: Hype fought the law and… Autonomy had real software but the hype around Big Data had discouraged Hewlett Packard from taking a closer look. Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain was sentenced this year to a five year prison term and a ten million dollar fine because he was held “ultimately responsible for Autonomy’s revenues having been overinflated by $193m between 2009 and the first half of fiscal 2011.”
2019 AI Hype Countdown #10: Sophia the Robot Still Gives “Interviews” In other news, few popular media ask critical questions. As a humanoid robot, Sophia certainly represents some impressive engineering. It is sad that the engineering fronts ridiculous claims about the state of AI, using partially scripted interactions as if they were real communication.