Do You Trust Artificial Intelligence? Chris Paine's New Film Gives You Something to Think About

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Do You Trust The Machines?

"Do You Trust This Computer?" a new must-watch documentary thoroughly explores the implications of AI for us. Will the technology usher in an age of unprecedented potential, or prove to be our final invention?

Film maker Chris Paine follows up “Who Killed the Electric Car?” and “Revenge of the Electric Car” with a new documentary far more skeptical about technological progress. “Do You Trust This Computer?” covers the major talking points about the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence, voiced by leading figures in the industry.

“The inspiration for the documentary began about three years ago when I plugged my phone into my laptop and first saw the question ‘Do you trust this computer?’ In spite of my enthusiasm for tech, I realized my answer was actually no,” Paine told Deadline Hollywood.

"Do You Trust This Computer" features interviews with many influential thinkers on the subject of AI, from Jonathan Nolan, creator of the Westworld HBO hit series, Max Tegmark, founder of the Future of Humanity Institute, David Ferrucci, leader of the IBM Watson project, Sebastian Thrun, leading AI expert and self-driving car pioneer, futurist, inventor and author Ray Kurzweil, Stuart Russel, an AI expert, Elon Musk, James Barrat, author of Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era, Google Brain founder Andrew Ng, blogger Tim Urban and many others.

Kicking off the stream of interviews in the film, Jonathan Nolan states that Hollywood has failed by inoculating people against the real threat of AI. "We've cried wolf enough times that the public has stopped paying attention," he says. "The general public is about to get blindsided by this."

Do You Trust This Computer

The film deals with artificial intelligence in general, and Google in particular.

"There is really no limit to what intelligent machines can do for the human race."
According to Tim Urban, writer of the popular blog, Wait But Why?, what Google's AI is now is the largest computing platform in the world. "When you're interacting with Google, we are just seeing the toenail of something that is a giant beast in the making, and the truth is I'm not even sure that Google knows what it's becoming," he says.

Google's data collection and computational capacity is exponentially growing. Urban states that the search engine is currently powered by 10 million servers, but they are scaling up the next version, which will be artificial intelligence powered by 100 million servers.

Part of Paine's mission with the film, it would seem is to clearly show that Google is building artificial general intelligence, and that this is not an activity constrained by any laws or governments. He shows that our relationship with entities like Google and Facebook is a Faustian bargain.
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Artificial intelligence is not all about killer robots and other science fiction tropes, Paine and his interviews show. The real dangers involve creating an artificial life form that doesn’t really need us around, or care about us. Combine that with the fact that incomprehensible amounts of data are being collected, interpreted, and fed back to us in an exponentially increasing amount of apps, smart devices, and targeted advertisements. Virtually every industry on earth is feeling this transformation, from job automation to medical diagnostics, from elections to battlefield weapons.

The film is not all doom and gloom about the technology though. Paine goes to great lengths to show how AI is already empowering professions like doctors and improving their effectiveness and capacity.

"There is really no limit to what intelligent machines can do for the human race," states Stuart Russell, author of the seminal AI textbook, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach.

Do You Trust Artificial Intelligence? Chris Paine's New Film Gives You Something to Think About

David Ferrucci, leader of the IBM project states in the film:

I think in three to five years, you will see a computer system that will be able to autonomously learn how to understand—how to build understanding not unlike the way the human mind works. 

"Do You Trust This Computer?" also shows how the development of fake news by the likes of Cambridge Analytica has created apocryphal events using AI algorithms based on psychometric personal data.

One of the most chilling parts of the documentary is when AI and robotics researcher Hod Lipson explains how his simple robots seem to have gained a rudimentary form of consciousness. While training the robots to learn how to teach themselves how to walk, including doing such things as removing a leg from the robot, the research team was monitoring the neural network the robot used on a separate screen.

robot Hod Lipson

"We wanted to show how we wave all of these objects in front of the camera and the AI can recognize the objects," explains Lipson. "Suddenly we noticed one of the neurons was tracking faces. It was tracking our faces as we were moving around."

This was not something the robot was programmed to do. "Yet, somehow it learned to do that," states Lipson. "Even though these robots are very simple, we can see that there is something else going on in there. It's not just programming."

"So this is just the beginning."

Watch the FREE livestream of #DoYouTrust for the next few hours at

SOURCE  Do You Trust This Computer

By  33rd Square