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Philosopher Daniel Dennett on why the real danger of AI is not its potential hyper-intelligence. The real danger is its incompetence.


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The webpage is an article titled "What Happens When Machines Become Smarter than People?" on Philosophy Break, written by Jack Maden. It debates the potential consequences of AI surpassing human intelligence, a concept known as the 'singularity'. It raises questions about the loss of human control and unpredictable actions of superintelligent AI, including possible catastrophic scenarios. However, American philosopher Daniel Dennett views the real danger of AI as its incompetence rather than its potential superintelligence. Dennett warns against overestimating AI's comprehension and prematurely ceding authority to them. He uses examples such as dependence on GPS and AI in medicine to highlight potential threats. Dennett argues that while AI can replace human labor, it also replaces human comprehension, which can lead to dangerous situations when machines break or fail. Dennett proposes making clear the boundary between machines as tools and those that replace our comprehension. He suggests making it fashionable to identify and point out flaws in systems and legally requiring technology advertisements to acknowledge all software shortcomings. Dennett's perspective is that comprehension is spread thinly across society, and ceding this specialist knowledge to machines could make society more complex while humans know less about how to handle it. The article ends by inviting readers to share their views on the topic and provides information about further reading on Dennett's work and other related topics.

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Feb. 20, 2024, 9:27 p.m.

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