Behold the Tasks That Leave Artificial Intelligence Baffled and Bewildered
“Here’s the Thing AI Just Can’t Do”
“Here’s a question that’s been bothering me: What can humans do that artificial intelligence can’t, and vice versa? And I don’t mean simple mechanical motions, like a robot’s ability to bend its knee 180 degrees backward, because eww, I don’t want to do that.”
Indeed, this question posed in an article recently published by Wired is not only slightly troubling, but it also hits the nail on the head when contemplating the seemingly unstoppable rise of artificial intelligence. The text considers the fundamental difference between human intelligence and artificial intelligence. Spoiler alert: it isn’t a robot’s uncanny ability to do yoga poses the average human physically cannot execute.
Poring over the issues surrounding artificial intelligence often results in a standoff between Team Humans and Team AI. The former group stubbornly champions human intuition, creativity, and a peculiar ability to commit gaffes with disastrous yet amusing consequences, while the latter faction enthusiastically endorses the cold precision, number-crunching prowess, and tireless efficiency of machines.
However, one could argue that the discussion misses the point. The focus should not be solely on what humans can do that artificial intelligence cannot. Instead, it should also be about learning how these two forms of intelligence can complement each other. The article suggests that artificial intelligence lacks the ability to genuinely understand the world in a way that humans do. An AI system can beat a world champion at chess, but it can’t appreciate the delicate beauty of a well-executed gambit or feel the thrill of a surprise checkmate.
That’s not to brand artificial intelligence as a soulless husk devoid of all philosophical depth. By all means, artificial intelligence can pack a punch in areas where humans falter. Crunching numbers, big data analytics, and murmuring sweet nothings in binary code are tasks that AI can perform with majestic ease. It’s a veritable dynamo that doesn’t need to take a breather or a lunch break or suffer the pangs of an existential crisis.
Yet, humans occupy a unique niche. The ability to experience emotions, make decisions based on moral or ethical considerations, to empathize with others, and interpret nuanced social cues are qualities that AI has yet to master. Yes, despite boasting gigahertz of processing power and advanced algorithms, AI is still bafflingly slow on the uptake when it comes to social niceties and emotional reasoning. Plus, it has the sense of humor of a brick. When was the last time Siri delivered a genuinely funny joke?
So, humans can rest easy on their throne, at least for now. As much as artificial intelligence has elevated itself to seemingly godlike omniscience, it still lacks the human touch. Until it starts appreciating a good chess game, or a riveting novel, or the divine taste of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, it still has a long way to go. This charming chasm between human and artificial intelligence makes both irreplaceable in many respects. And isn’t that a reassuring thought? After all, who else but a human could appreciate the delicious irony?