‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless

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  • Ian Bogost Ian Bogost

Ian Bogost, professor in the Ivan Allen College School of Literature, Media, and Communication, wrote “‘Artificial Intelligence’ Has Become Meaningless” for The Atlantic.


In science fiction, the promise or threat of artificial intelligence is tied to humans’ relationship to conscious machines. Whether it’s Terminators or Cylons or servants like the “Star Trek” computer or the Star Wars droids, machines warrant the name AI when they become sentient—or at least self-aware enough to act with expertise, not to mention volition and surprise.

What to make, then, of the explosion of supposed-AI in media, industry, and technology? In some cases, the AI designation might be warranted, even if with some aspiration. Autonomous vehicles, for example, don’t quite measure up to R2D2 (or Hal), but they do deploy a combination of sensors, data, and computation to perform the complex work of driving. But in most cases, the systems making claims to artificial intelligence aren’t sentient, self-aware, volitional, or even surprising. They’re just software.

For the full article, read here.

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

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  • Created By: Daniel Singer
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Mar 6, 2017 - 12:04pm
  • Last Updated: Mar 6, 2017 - 12:04pm