I love John Olivier. And not just because we’re both from fish and chip country, Morrissey and Monty Python.
I’m a little ashamed to admit how many of my opinions are partly shaped by his thinking. The TV host has a smart, deeply researched and irreverent approach to current affairs that makes sense in a complicated world.
But not when it comes to artificial intelligence.
John Oliver denounced AI in “Last Week Tonight”
During a recent episode of his popular HBO Sunday night talk show, “Last Week Tonight,” Oliver criticized the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning models, in particular the ChatGPT-funded chatbot. Microsoft.
“The problem with AI right now,” Oliver said, “isn’t that it’s smart. It’s that it’s dumb in ways that we can’t always predict. which is a real problem, as we increasingly use AI in all sorts of meaningful ways.”
Such comments are unfair. AI is useful in many different industries, including education and finance, and large language models such as ChatGPT and Google’s LaMDA and Bard are impressive in the number of tasks they can accomplish.
For example, the ability to quickly generate relevant information is useful when creating content such as the “help” function on a website.
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AI is also useful for helping customer service. People want to feel like they’re interacting with a human while being taken care of quickly. AI helps deliver that experience, and in a world where so many of our interactions take place remotely, that matters.
It is also important to understand that models evolve. Like Siri and Alexa, they will get smarter as they receive more content from a wider audience.
To be fair, Oliver made some valid points. The proliferation of AI models highlights challenges that more people should be talking about. For example, ChatGPT and other AI programs are great at cleaning up code. But with developers around the world using ChatGPT to clean up code, they’re actually giving away the intellectual property by powering the chatbot.
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AI can be misused, but there are solutions
Another huge problem is black box AI technology, which lacks transparency in how it makes decisions and, in turn, lacks accountability for spreading misinformation. Now even someone with limited technical experience can download black box AI models widely available on the internet, such as XGBoost, and learn how to train them.
But they will have no idea why the model made the decisions it makes and whether any biases and misinformation tainted the results.
In his 28-minute rant, Oliver warned of the dangers of the AI black box. He noted, “AI systems need to be explainable, which means we need to be able to understand exactly how and why an AI found its answers.”
He failed to mention that there is a more transparent and secure alternative to black box systems. Silent Eight has established itself as an AI market leader by developing pioneering white box solutions in the identification of financial crime for leading banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and First Abu Dhabi.
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Our flagship platform, Iris, is fully explainable and tells you how and why it made a particular decision. Similar patterns exist in a host of industries beyond finance.
You can find complex and pioneering patterns with clear explanations of why a certain result is produced. But they are not widely available or easy to download from the internet. These tools are methodically designed, monitored, tuned, measured, and tested by skilled mathematicians, data scientists, subject matter experts, and risk and compliance analysts.
Intelligent machine learning and AI technology are valuable technologies that are an integral part of the modern world. While you should never use black box AI to make decisions that have legal consequences or serious ramifications, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply complex, cutting-edge, and transparent solutions to improve the decision-making process. decision-making in critical industries.
I don’t think the general public needs to worry about black box solutions. ChatGPT is an impressive technological advancement that will benefit a variety of industries in countless ways.
Tell that to John Oliver.
Matthew Leaney is Chief Revenue Officer of Silent Eight, which uses artificial intelligence to fight cybercrime.