The past provides examples of projections of technical improvements that place an elevated value on the future. Predictions surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) are no different, according to the Moravec Paradox. Researchers who were just starting out in the field of artificial intelligence speculated that in the future we would encounter robots that could walk, talk, and have complete human qualities. Although there is no question that we have made some significant breakthroughs in the field of machine learning, AI just is not at the level it needs to be at this point.
“It is not my purpose to surprise or shock you,” computer science pioneer and economist Herbert Simon remarked in 1957. “But the simplest way I can summarize is to say that there are now in the world computers that can think, that can learn, and that can create.” In addition to this, their capability to accomplish these things is going to develop fast until, in the not too distant future, the range of issues that they are able to solve will be coextensive with the range of issues that the human intellect has been applied to.
However, we are still a long way from a world when machines can think like people. Although artificial intelligence has proven to be superior in a variety of contexts, including three times besting the world’s best Go player, the question remains: can anything be clever if it cannot perform the activities that a toddler can?
The Moravec Paradox: Why Is It So Difficult for Artificial Intelligence to Do Simple Tasks?
The issue has been around for some time. The computer scientist Hans Moravec posed this problem, which is now known as “Moravec’s Paradox.” Moravec is honored by having his name associated with this paradox of Artificial Intelligence. He said that logical reasoning required a small amount of processing, whereas sensorimotor skills require a significant amount of computational resources.
In the 1980s, he published his book, in which he made the following statement: “The deliberate process we call reasoning is, I believe, the thinnest veneer of human thought. It is effective only because it is supported by this much older and much more powerful, though typically unconscious, sensorimotor knowledge.”
To put it another way, the brains we have today are the result of millions of years of evolution and the process of natural selection. The fact that something is novel makes it more challenging for people to understand and adapt to it. The capabilities that have already been ingrained in us as a result of evolution are so ingrained in us that we do not even have to think about them. How exactly are we going to teach a machine things that we do not even consider ourselves capable of knowing? A well-known quote attributed to Polanyi is, “We can know more than we can communicate.”
Being a human being is considerably simpler than creating one from scratch. Consider something as uncomplicated as throwing the ball back and forth with a friend. When you dissect this activity into the individual biological processes that are necessary to complete it, you will see that it is not quite as straightforward as it once appeared. You are going to require effectors, transmitters, and sensors. You need to do mental calculations regarding the distance between you and your buddy, the glare of the sun, the speed of the wind, and any surrounding distractions. During a catch, you have to determine how tightly you are going to grab the ball and when you are going to squeeze the mitt. In addition to this, you need to think through a number of “what if” scenarios, such as “What if the ball sails over my head?” What if it smashes the glass of the house next door?
The creative portion of the human brain is something that cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence, despite the fact that AI is capable of doing things that we consider to be difficult. Let’s use the example of healthcare as an illustration. If you had to make a choice that may potentially change the course of your life, would you give that choice to a machine or an algorithm? Would you give it the ability to make a straightforward choice, such as whether or not to take pain medication?
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) tried out chatbots in an effort to reduce the strain placed on their health lines. Patients who took part in an experiment revealed that they would prefer to game the system in order to secure a quicker appointment with their physician, rather than follow the instructions provided by a chatbot. This could change in the future, with patients putting their faith in AI to solve simple problems, but it’s possible that we’ll never be able to conceive of medical treatment that doesn’t need human compassion. There will always be a need for doctors to take their patients’ hands and reassure them while discussing important life choices and offering their general support. That can never be replicated by a computer program.
On a more humorous side, books like Moneyball and movies like it show us how data analytics can be used to select winning sports teams. But is it possible for AI to become a high-level sports coach?
This is the crux of Moravec’s paradox, where its weight truly lies. It is not only about what artificial intelligence is capable of doing; it is also about the amount of work that is required to teach AI how to perform relevant tasks and the significance of the amount of effort that is applied.
The Implications of the Moravec Paradox for the Modern World
At this point in time, artificial intelligence is not capable of going beyond the bounds of what it has learned. On the other side, humans possess the ability to employ their imagination and think up new possibilities. Artificial intelligence is not capable of performing creative tasks such as making a joke or delivering a unique story. Even the most routine decisions in company are dependent on.
inventiveness. It is not the domain of robots for a bank administrator to discover a management approach that better engages the employees, nor is it the jurisdiction of a hotel executive to modify the furnishings to reflect the lifestyle of millennial clients.
The elimination of the worry that AI may one day take our jobs is not always a negative development. When we are not burdened by routine tasks, the world around us appears to move at a more leisurely pace. We now have more time to strategize, develop better relationships with customers, and optimize our business processes in order to achieve higher levels of productivity and return on investment. After all, it’s not only about maximizing productivity and performance; it’s also about opening the door to creativity.
The fact that we have constructed a machine that can beat a human at Go or Chess does not necessarily suggest that general Artificial Intelligence is right around the corner as confirmed by the Moravec Paradox. We have made some progress, but things are only going to get tougher as time goes on. The tacit knowledge of humans is a precious commodity that cannot be transferred to other species, which ensures that humans will continue to play an important role in the world.