Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Modern artificial intelligence is often lauded for its growing sophistication, but mostly in doomer terms. If you’re on the apocalyptic end of the spectrum, the AI revolution will automate millions of jobs, eliminate the barrier between reality and artifice, and, eventually, force humanity to the brink of extinction. Along the way, maybe we get robot butlers, maybe we’re stuffed into embryonic pods and harvested for energy. Who knows.
But it’s easy to forget that most AI right now is terribly stupid and only useful in narrow, niche domains for which its underlying software has been specifically trained, like playing an ancient Chinese board game or translating text in one language into another.
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