AI Differs from Other Technologies

AI continues to pass through a period of perceived novelty, which provokes interest and even concern fueled by the fetishization of dystopic depictions of AI in popular media. While many are familiar with the concept of AI and its uses in our everyday lives, there is still a tendency towards polarization, unrealistic expectations, and even paranoia since AI is treated as a novel form of technology. Several ideas prop up this mentality, and I will seek to explain  and respond to them here.

As I mentioned early on, the term “Artificial Intelligence” is extremely abstract and loose, leaving a great deal of room for debate. As Zylinska explains in AI Art: Machine Visions and Warped Dreams, intelligence as expressed by humanity continues to evolve as we do, but human activity for the most part has always been technical and thus somewhat ‘artificially intelligent” [16]. While the widespread implementation of AI appears relatively new, the principle of “artificial intelligence” fits contiguously within centuries of human technological advancement. That being said, it is worth discussing some of the reasons society might be perturbed by AI’s ‘novelty.’