I am writing this blog post in response to the paperclips article at K@W
What if machines become smarter than us? In the article linked above the author discusses the difference between
- AI- artificial intelligence; and its subcategories
- ANI- artifical narrow intelligence
- AGI- artifical general intelligence
- ASI- artificial super intelligence
We live in a world of ANI. I have Siri reading me The Essential Drucker on my phone as I drive around to schools these days. I love Siri. However, there are many things technology such as Siri cannot do. Just ask my wife, she hates Siri’s limitations, and finds her useless- fun to watch. Siri is an example of ANI, or artifical narrow intelligence. There are many things Siri cannot do. She does not have general intelligence and cannot do things my 4 year old finds simple such as recognizing a face or even drawing one. The flight management system on an airliner can navigate safely through turbulent weather and even slow the craft to prevent breakup by keeping it within its flight envelope. If, however, it were to be asked to teach my son how to dance at his 1st dance last week, it would return an error. It doesn’t know that, and can’t learn it. Many of our foremost experts believe that artificial general intelligence is not far off, with ASI or super intelligent AI not far behind that- something like 40-60 years out.
Now, why does that matter to our work in STEM education? Simple. We absolutely need people who understand things like ethics, psychology, law, policy, and government to work with people who are developing some of these advanced technologies. These fields aren’t often considered in the STEM world, but we NEED them, and we will continue to need them and will need them more and more. The ethics of how to implement these new technologies are discussions that aren’t going away. Designers and engineers are amazing thinkers in determining answers to questions like, “how can we make this technology…” our ethicists, psychologists, and public policy people will help guide us through questions like, “should we make this, and what musn’t it do…”
I had opportunity to visit two places recently. Our men and women who serve and operate unmanned craft at the Air National Guard base in Battle Creek, MI; and the wonderful students and staff members at White Pines Intermediate School District in Grand Haven, MI. I was presenting drone and unmanned technology to the White Pines students, and they asked me, “Could SkyNet be built?”
I told them it’s kind of already here, then asked them- could your job be to help us figure out how to work with it so we don’t all get turned into paperclips?