This week on Yeah Nah Pasaran! on 3CR we talk to Emily M. Bender [Twitter/X///Mastodon]. Emily is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington and is one of the people Time has named as among The 100 Most Influential People in AI 2023. She co-hosts, with Alex Hanna, the podcast Mystery AI Hype Theater 3000.
She also two cats — Euclid and Euler — which is pretty cool.
We spoke to Emily about ‘Artificial Intelligence’. More precisely, why it’s important to debunk the myths surrounding the label, the better to analyse the reality it obscures: for example, Large Language Models of the kind that produce ChatGPT are not ‘intelligent’, and AI would be better termed something like ‘mathy math’. Further, we discussed why it’s more important to focus upon the real and present harms of ‘AI’ than it is to join in ungrounded speculation on hypothetical risks in the future.
The world becomes a sum of lifeless artifacts; from synthetic food to synthetic organs, the whole man becomes part of the total machinery that he controls and is simultaneously controlled by. He has no plan, no goal for life, except doing what the logic of technique determines him to do. He aspires to make robots as one of the greatest achievements of his technical mind, and some specialists assure us that the robot will hardly be distinguishable from living men. This achievement will not seem so astonishing when man himself is hardly distinguishable from a robot.
~ Eric Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973)
See also : You Are Not a Parrot, Elizabeth Weil, NYMag, March 1, 2023 | What Really Happened When Google Ousted Timnit Gebru, Tom Simonite, Wired, June 8, 2021 | On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big? 🦜, Emily M. Bender, Timnit Gebru, Angelina McMillan-Major, Shmargaret Shmitchell, FAccT ’21: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, March 2021 | The #BenderRule: On Naming the Languages We Study and Why It Matters, The Gradient, September 14, 2019 | Distributed AI Research Institute.
4.30pm, Thursday, September 21, 2023 /// 3CR /// 855AM / streaming live on the 3CR website
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