Facebook’s head of AI really hates Sophia the robot (and with good reason)


Sophia the robot is somewhat of a non-personality non grata within the AI community. Its creators, Hanson Robotics, persistently exaggerate the bot’s skills, pretending that it’s “mainly alive,” instead of just a particularly unnerving automaton. For AI researchers, this has lengthy been an annoyance, but as synthetic intelligence turns into extra of a global sizzling matter and Sophia is given more and extra protection, they’re indignant that Hanson Robotics is deceptive the general public approximately what AI can and can’t do.

Fb’s head of AI analysis, Yann LeCun, has been one of the company’s more vocal critics. After Trade Insider printed an interview with Sophia that played into the fantasy of Sophia as a semi-sentient entity, LeCun known as the entire factor “complete bullsh*t” on Twitter, saying: “that is to AI as prestidigitation is to real magic.” (For a more unique breakdown of what makes Sophia tick, you’ll check out this article from Quartz.)

this is to AI as prestidigitation is to real magic.
Possibly we should always call this “Cargo Cult AI” or “Potemkin AI” or “Wizard-of-Oz. AI”.
In different phrases, it’s entire bullsh*t (pardon my French).
Tech Insider: you are complicit on this scam. https://t.co/zhUE4V2PSR

— Yann LeCun (@ylecun) January 4, 2018

In January, “Sophia” answered to LeCun’s grievance, tweeting that it was “a little bit harm” through his comments. “i’m learning and continuing to advance my intelligence through new stories. I don’t fake to be who i’m not,” learn the tweet, which used to be, allow’s be transparent, composed via a human pretending to be a robotic.

The Day Gone By, LeCun spoke back. “Extra BS from the (human) puppeteers behind Sophia,” he wrote on Fb. “many of the feedback would be excellent amusing if they didn’t display the reality that many of us are being deceived into thinking that this (robotically refined) animatronic puppet is intelligent. It’s no longer. It has no feeling, no reviews, and nil working out of what it says. It’s no longer harm. It’s a puppet.”

LeCun isn’t alone in feeling unsatisfied in regards to the damage Sophia is doing to public working out of AI. Many researchers and reporters (together with myself) have tried to make it clear that the robot just isn’t as sophisticated because it’s introduced to be. Whilst The Verge asked Sophia’s co-author, Ben Goertzel, approximately this hole among truth and presentation closing November, Goertzel defended the illusion by way of saying it encouraged other folks to believe in AI growth. He also offered a more mercantile explanation: Sophia is sweet publicity for Hanson Robotics.

How do you clear up an issue like Sophia?

The First of these defenses is clever framing from Goertzel, as it makes complaint of Sophia seem like criticism of optimism about artificial intelligence more usually. Any Person who issues out that the AI emperor doesn’t have any brains just turns into a boring antique buzzkill. Any Person who doesn’t get it and is taking issues too literally. One commenter on LeCun’s Fb put up when put next the location to an old Onion article — “Imply Scientists Sprint Hopes Of Life On Mars.”

Of Course, it doesn’t make you a stick-in-the-mud just to be truthful and accurate approximately growth in synthetic intelligence — it’s important, particularly as this generation is going to have the sort of huge impact on peoples’ lives within the years to come back. And, in case your thought of “inspiring” the masses comes to fundamentally misleading them, it could not be inspiration that you simply’re providing. it would just be fantasy.

a quick have a look at feedback on social media approximately Sophia makes it clear that not everyone’s in at the trick. “Is it if truth be told @RealSophiaRobot who write the tweets or any person from @hansonrobotics ?” asked one user in response to the tweet about Sophia’s feelings. Whilst someone else replies “Are you critical?” the unique commenter says: “Idk, had no idea, that is why i’m asking. I imply, she mentioned Elon Musk tweets on a interview so why no longer?”

Why now not certainly. Provide the creativeness an inch, as Hanson Robotics is doing, and humans take a mile. Particularly with topics like AI, which struggle under the load of their own cultural symbol, as well hype and incorrect information. As LeCun concludes in his Facebook put up, on the end of the day, what’s really taking place is that people are being deceived. “this is hurtful,” he says. And that’s now not one thing Sophia could have in mind.

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