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Making Technology Less Manipulative

This was an excellent podcast on the ethics behind some of the decisions being made about technology today. The whole talk is excellent and thought provoking however for me one part (about 27 minutes in) stood out:

“When we think about AI we have to remember you know when you point the AI system at chess, right, first it kind of wiggles around and it makes some kind of funny looking moves and then it starts making some smart moves as it gets better and then it makes some surprisingly smart moves and then it beats Garry Kasparov.. And when it beats Garry Kasparov it doesn’t unbeat Garry Kasparov.. It’s now better than all human beings at chess, right? So you take that same AI and you point it at the Go game and that took 30 years.. It made these funny looking moves and now with AlphaGo, with Google’s AlphaGo, it beat all of Go players and when it beats all of Go players it doesn’t unbeat all of Go players.. So we built these AIs and then we actually invisibly gave it a new target.. We pointed it at this and we said whatever gets this human being, play chess against this human being’s mind and play 20 steps ahead of where their mind can even possibly see and show stuff to them that is either the perfect next video on YouTube, the perfect outrageous news story on Facebook, which controls what two billion people will think everyday, the perfect reason for you to cheat on your spouse with Tinder, the perfect political message so we can vary 60,000 political messages and we can actually combine word choices and different contortions of politician’s faces and colors of buttons to perfectly animate a response from your brain stem.. We’re playing chess against ourselves and we have every click that we give this system it gets stronger”

Links

Making Technology Less Manipulative - Podcast

Transcript