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Artifictional Intelligence: Against Humanity's Surrender to Computers

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Recent startling successes in machine intelligence using a technique called ‘deep learning’ seem to blur the line between human and machine as never before. Are computers on the cusp of becoming so intelligent that they will render humans obsolete? Harry Collins argues we are getting ahead of ourselves, caught up in images of a fantastical future dreamt up in fictional portrayals. The greater present danger is that we lose sight of the very real limitations of artificial intelligence and readily enslave ourselves to stupid computers: the ‘Surrender’.By dissecting the intricacies of language use and meaning, Collins shows how far we have to go before we cannot distinguish between the social understanding of humans and computers. When the stakes are so high, we need to set the bar higher: to rethink ‘intelligence’ and recognize its inherent social basis. Only if machine learning succeeds on this count can we congratulate ourselves on having produced artificial intelligence.

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Collins Harry
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Harry Collins is a Fellow of the British Academy, and Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University

Chapter 1. Computers in Social Life and the Danger of the Surrender

Chapter 2. Expertise and Writing about AI: Some Reflections on the Project

Chapter 3. Language and ‘Repair’

Chapter 4. Humans, Social Contexts and Bodies

Chapter 5. Six Levels of Artificial Intelligence

Chapter 6. Deep Learning: Precedent-Based, Pattern-Recognizing Computers

Chapter 7. Kurzweil’s Brain and the Sociology of Knowledge

Chapter 8. How Humans Learn What Computers Can’t

Chapter 9. Two Models of Artificial Intelligence and the Way Forward

Chapter 10. The Editing Test and Other New Versions of the Turing Test

Appendix 1: How the Internet Works Today

Appendix 2: Little Dogs

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