Whilst listening to You and Yours I found myself scratching my melon. A house with remote access to cameras, blinds, TV, lights, and many other things was discussed. It seemed novel but ultimately technology for technology’s sake.

What had me puzzled was when reference was made to the notion of AI. There were questions about whether the house had a mind of its own or not.

This sort of thing seems to come up a lot when it comes to technology and it flusters and aggravates me. Perhaps it’s due to the amount of science fiction that exists within modern cultures but it seems to me that the majority do not know that AIs don’t currently exist.

We have the term “AI” but as of yet we do not have artificial brains capable of independent thought. If we did do these people not think it’d be known about? Wouldn’t they expect endless documentaries?

I may not know the precise way a manual gearbox fits together but I am at least able to give a description of the mechanical principles involved in both an internal combustion engine and a drive train. I do not look at a car as something with fuel inputs and a steering wheel connected to a black box with the word “magic” printed on it. This goes for every bit of technology I own or use. I might not be able to draw a circuit diagram but I understand the concepts that make it possible.

So with such a house my primary question is “What kind of power source is used for each controller and how much does it draw?”

After that I think about how an app might securely connect to it and what sort of latency one could expect if using a data connection (and how much data is used in order to use it whilst roaming).

What doesn’t cross my mind is the idea of the system having a mind of its own. The system may have routines and learning algorithms but it’s not a brain in a jar.

In this instance I imagine the line of questioning was mostly to allow for anecdotes and pad out the feature but it is the sort of attitude I’ve encountered when dealing with older generations of adults. They see “computer” and think “magic and AI” from what I can tell.

Yet they also feel they are well informed enough to lecture on legislative policy with regards to technology. Now that’s disturbing.

0 responses to "School days, school days…"

Leave a Reply