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Res Publica: Humans are the ultimate robots

Regulars | By Simon Carr | January 2018

AI won’t replace us. The real danger is we’re turning into automatons   

A couple, married for forty years, sit on a bench, looking at the sea. One says, ‘Nice to feel a bit of strength in the sun.’ The other replies, ‘You always say that.’ Or ‘My feet are cold.’ Or ‘If we went to Cyprus for Christmas, would we have to take your mother?’ The question is – how could you tell which of the parties (or possibly both of them) are robots? There are quite a large number of couples in the world who wouldn’t pass the Turing test. So, the first question about artificial intelligence (AI) is not whether robots can behave like humans – but how humans are perfectly capable of behaving like robots. It’s not just the automated work of tending a big machine that reduces people to a limited series of actions and responses. Over the years, all of us – with the exception of great...

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