Calm Down: AI Isn’t Magic, Just Software

Robert D. Atkinson January 6, 2022
January 6, 2022

Rob Atkinson writes in The Korea Times that it’s easy to get caught up in artificial intelligence (AI) hype. We are bombarded with claims that AI is a transformative technology: more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. In other words, AI is the “Superman” of all technologies, doing things no other technology could ever do.

So, as the narrative goes, we should be afraid, very afraid. After all, AI will destroy most jobs, create a surveillance state, generate Terminator-like autonomous weapons, make current levels of inequality look like child’s play and generate a panoply of other dire consequences. If policymakers don’t step in now to harness the “demon of AI,” as Elon Musk called it, it will be too late. We will all be living in a real-world “Squid Game.” To which, I must say: nonsense. Stop listening to the hype, either the techno-utopian hype that says the “AI revolution” will be greater than the First Industrial Revolution or the techno-dystopians who say all is lost. The reality is that AI is just computer code.