Technology & Life Ponderings
Humans have tried to instil their decision-making into computers and artificial intelligence for decades. But how similarly do humans process information compared to computers?
Humans are insanely complicated creatures. Anyone who has said they know exactly how we work is lying through their teeth. At the pinnacle of our complexity is the human brain.
The homo sapiens possess the largest brain when looking at brain to body ratio, and it has almost 100 billion neurons. The brain drives our actions and is the decision-making machine of every individual; it has been evolved and trained through hundreds of thousands of years to get where it is today.
Enough with a biology lecture, let’s talk about why you’re actually here; what in the world am I doing comparing humans to artificial intelligence?
Machine Learning has been a rising field since the late 1900s and it’s currently embedded into most modern systems. They’re used in the field of Artificial Intelligence, attempting to make human-like decisions. That’s when I considered:
How far off are these computer algorithms to actual human brains?
Truthfully, they still have a long way to go.
I was inspired to write about this topic after reading ‘Trump Is a Machine-Learning Algorithm Gone Wrong’ by Cathy O’Neil at Bloomberg and also spending loads of time learning to code throughout the summer. The article by O’Neil criticises the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and rightfully so.
O’Neil in a previous article, ‘Donald Trump is the Singularity’, also compared Trump to a Machine Learning Algorithm solely designed to get eyeballs, regardless whether the response was positive or negative. She gave great examples of Trump operating in this robotic mindset; when he was holding rallies in New York before election 2016 and his entire personal Twitter account.
You probably see, but not fully appreciate, machine learning everywhere in our lives; having it natively built into our iPhones and MacBooks, running the mythical “Algorithms” of social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram and being used for facial recognition on Facebook when you get automatically tagged in photos. (Yes, everyone finds it creepy.)
Have you ever thought about how Facebook knows exactly what you look like, how Google Maps knows the best route every single time, how Target finds out that your daughter is pregnant before you do? The last one is “silly and bad” according to Colin but that headline about Target was everywhere.