Kate Crawford: the AI Revolution

Artificial Intelligence is about to explode as the number one problem of our age. In fact our age, and species, may well be about to morph unrecognisably because of it.

All the more reason I’m glad to have heard Kate Crawford talk at the Book Festival about her new book Atlas of AI. An atlas it indeed is, mapping the route as to why, where from and how AI has leapt into central position in our lives so quickly.

That power is in the hands of 8 billionaires who own, run and control the whole mega business of AI administration. It’s vast plants in the cloud are guzzling mineral resources, micro chips, energy to run, and water to cool. Lakes are running dry and electricity hardly produced fast enough to service this ever expanding industry, which we unwittingly provide with data in our every click  and tweet. Ever wondered how come an ad for Rumanian holidays appears the day after your search for Transylvanian castles? Big Brother has been sorting out your data information. That the future of tiny Taiwan is of paramount global interest lies in the crucial part it plays in AI.

As AI gets bigger and we get less powerful  and necessary, the very future of our species is in danger.  For this reason Kate Crawford praises the Hollywood strike, where screenwriters, actors and operatives have said “Enough” to the prospect of AI scripts presented to Computer Generated actors being passed off as the real thing, while they themselves are passed over.

It was a riveting hour at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and it seems a riveting book. Much recommended to all of us with mere human intelligence.

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