Artificial stupidity

Codemotion Roma 2019-03-23

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@pinchito (Influencity)

What We Will Cover

Early AI

Coming of Age

Case Studies



Why Me?

20+ years in the industry

Interested in the area since the 90s

Read a bunch of blog posts

Extremely muscular body

In Memoriam Sergio Leone

Roma 1929 - Roma 1989

Sad HIll Unearthed

Now on Netflix

Early AI


Quite Optimistic

In the literature (US)

In the Literature (EU)

Coming of Age


1997: Deep Blue defeats world champ Kasparov
A person was defeated by a machine!

Extra, Extra! Humans Defeated!

But were we?

Definitely human!

So rather: algorithm beats person

Automated Theorem Proving

In the Literature (us)

In the Literature (Japan)

Case Studies

1: Robots

Industrial Robots

space Robots


Don't give them the kill switch!

You know software has bugs, don't ya?

Actual robots

Not so Intelligent

Not real bots

Not so versatile after all

It is probe or move apparently

Exo drives

Humans are great value after all

Why the emphasis on robots?

The robot myth has been used for centuries to discipline the workforce.

Workers might be replaced first by a steam machine, next by an industrial machine and now by an intelligent machine.

2: Automatic Programming

Who reports bugs?

Just another tool
Let computers fix bugs!

Not a new thing

Being hearing about it forever

Grace Hopper helped invent high-level languages
She called it "automatic programming"

How to express requirements into machine language?
It is called "programming"

3: self-Driving car

Improvements are awesome

state of the art sensors

vs primate in metal box

Ape wins

Self-Driving Car Manufacturers



The automobile of the day-after-tomorrow will not be driven by the owner, but by itself.

It may be one day a serious offence to drive an automobile on a public highway

-- Arthur C Clarke, 1962

4: Deep learning

Two Neurons (2004)


Beat Stockfish after 9 hours of training

The game of chess represented the pinnacle of AI research over several decades
-- DeepMind

Alphazero on your laptop?

Running on 44 cores + 4 TPUs

Stockfish had quite weird settings

Not so astonishing?

The End of the Line?

I think we need to consider the hard challenges of AI and not be satisfied with short-term, incremental advances.

Realistically, deep learning is only part of the larger challenge of building intelligent machines.


The power of a neuron

Roughly equivalent to a complet neural network

We have ~100 billion neurons

5: Face Recognition

Pattern Recognition too!

Scrambled Images

Hard for a human, easy for an AI

"Bag of features" model

"Live" Demo

One pixel can fool a nn

One pixel attack for fooling deep neural networks

A tragedy in four acts



Easy to Misuse

Amazon recommends 99% accuracy at least

Too Many Giraffes?

Not easy to escape?


Optimization Problems

AIs are great at optimizing multiple parameters in many-d

Everything becomes an optimization problem

Ethics are important

Politics as an Optimization problem

Maximize votes

Minimize inequality?

Maximize power?

Minimize dissent?

Philosophy as an optimization problem

Maximize coherence?

Minimize first principles?

What should we ask?

Religion as an optimization problem?


Don't even know where to start

Maximization of unfairness

Algorithms perpetuate systemic bias
Perpetuate unfairness

AI as tools


AI uprising


AI is awesome, but not that awesome

Using AIs is not a blank check

Think about what you are doing

Don't give AIs the kill switch


Artificial Stupidity - Codemotion Roma 2019

By Alex Fernández

Artificial Stupidity - Codemotion Roma 2019

Presentation for Codemotion Roma 2019-03-23

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