New Career Path: Become a Robot Shrink!

Image result for images of crazy computer

So what are you gonna be when you grow up–if you ever do grow up, and don’t just stay in collidge pounding Play-Doh for the rest of your life?

Well, hey-hey! Become a robot psychologist! That would be someone who tries to understand what computers and other “Artificial Intelligences” are thinking, presuming they think at all (https://www.wsj.com/articles/career-of-the-future-robot-psychologist-1499605203).

The Wall Street Journal reports that engineers designing AI seem to be losing their handle on it.  Could it be that no one remembers that “Artificial Intelligence” is only a simulation of intelligence, and not the real thing? You know–like Strat-O-Matic is a nice simulation of baseball, minus the pine tar. But it’s not really baseball. You should be able to figure that out when Babe Ruth comes up to bat.

From the outside looking in, it looks like computers even now are not as good as they used to be. Can an Artificial Intelligence go mad? Or will it only simulate madness? And just how badly do we want these machines, these robots, driving our cars and prescribing medical treatments for us?

But that’s the price you pay if you want man to be the Creator instead of God.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

17 responses to “New Career Path: Become a Robot Shrink!

  • marlene

    A robot psychologist would be not only “someone who tries to understand what computers and other ‘Artificial Intelligences’ are thinking,” but someone who TELLS them what to think. I shudder to think (if it’s PC to use that term) what robots would be teaching other robots…

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  • Erlene

    I often get the impression that prescriptions are done by pre programmed
    robots, or something similar. I haven’t had more than one in my life that did anything good for me. Do you think the programmed news (and I use the word loosely) is done by artificial intelligence? Seems so to me.

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  • UnKnowable

    Artificial Intelligence, as I understand it, uses assumptions to simulate intelligent decision making. Computers are dumb, very dumb and have no sense whatsoever. they take everything literally and have no intuition. what they do have, in abundance, is the ability to make logical comparisons much more rapidly and tirelessly than the human brain. Brains are much more powerful than computers, but require refractive time between calculations. That’s why a computer can calculate an entire spreadsheet instantly, even though our more powerful brains cannot duplicate this task.

    The problem, as I see it, is that the assumptions built into AI can have unpredictable results, especially in view of the fact that there are so many AI algorithms at play. Spell checking, grammar checking and auto-correct are great examples of how computers can get it right almost all of the time, but get it tragically wrong in certain instances.

    So now we have AI everywhere. Facebook is using it to police content and if you complain to Amazon about too many transactions AI will flag you as a problem customer. The worst part is that AI systems are interacting with other AI systems and causing unpredictable results.

    Keep in mind, computers do not have a sense of self and possess no judgment beyond the binary yes/no decisions which are all a product of programming. For example, I have a simple computerized temperature monitor at a remote site which sends me an email if the temperature in that room exceeds 100 degrees F. You or I would make an analog judgment that it’s feeling a bit hot, but the monitor simply sends an email at 100.1 degrees. As far as that little monitor unit is concerned there is no difference between 32 F and 99.9 F, its “consciousness” is binary, it’s either above 100 F or not.

    Some argue that computers and computerized devices (such as cars, airplanes, space shuttles, etc.) are conscious because they can track time and make decisions based upon sensory input. IMHO, this undervalues the meaning of consciousness and greatly oversells the capabilities of computers. A simply thermostat uses no electronics but can switch a furnace off and on. It processes sensory information (the temperature of its environment) and opens or closes a switch based upon the temperature sensed, but any intelligence involved comes from the human designer, not the thermostat.

    They claim that computers “learn”, but once again, this is a bit of a stretch. The routers in my network can choose the best path (data circuit) between two locations, in fact the entire Internet functions on routing protocols which do this, but I would argue that there is no intelligence involved, only programmed responses to sensed conditions and the intelligence is in the programming: PERIOD!

    Some among the techies seem to think that computers can solve it all, but they can’t. The somewhat laughable notion of computer psychologists is just a rebranding of troubleshooting. Whether its an overheating car or the interaction of cascaded AI systems, it still requires judgment, skill, experience and the ability to play a hunch in order to troubleshoot effectively. Humans make all decisions with the assistance of emotion. Without emotion we would be reduced to inertia. The very notion of computer psychologists proves the significant limitations of computer science. In Star Trek, Mr. Spock was a puzzling, yet somehow amusing enigma. In the real world, he’d be a huge pain in the neck and probably beamed back to Vulcan by demand of the rest of the crew. 🙂

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    • leeduigon

      OK, we’ve heard from a man who knows what he’s talking about!
      The thing that gets me is that so many people truly can’t tell the difference between a real thing and a simulation. Scientists study their own computer models instead of nature, and when they don’t get the answers they expect, they tweak the models until they get what they want. Hence Climbit Change.

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      • UnKnowable

        “Scientists study their own computer models instead of nature, and when they don’t get the answers they expect, they tweak the models until they get what they want. Hence Climbit Change.”

        Which is pretty much what I said about the matter back in the nineties. It all came out of computer modeling and computer modeling relies upon the assumptions of the programmer.

        We all do it. If you project a budget for a household you look at past months and get a pretty good idea of how much your utilities costs, food costs, etc, will be. Then you project these forward and, hopefully, plot a budget. But it can’t be exact, because there are too many unknowns. I know that my electric bill can hit a certain level during the hottest months of the year, but I don’t know exactly when the hot weather will start or when it will end, so I can’t forecast may costs perfectly.

        This year I was air conditioning as early as March and heating as late as May, neither of these things have ever happened before. In my particular limited locale, which is a discreet microclimate due to the unique geography of the immediate 100 square miles near my home, the year has been both colder than normal and hotter than normal. Overall, however, I would say that it’s been average or slightly cooler and rainier than average. Climate and weather are not the same topic.

        I read in the last week or so that the northern ice cap is quite large of late. I’ve also read that a mission to map climbit change and loss of ice pack had to be scrubbed because there was so much ice that they couldn’t travel to the research area by boat. But this isn’t about logic or accuracy, it’s about political power.

        One other thing about the climbit change claims is that they totally ignore the sunspot cycle which is well known and trackable. What minor climatic variations that have occurred in the last century or so all track perfectly with sunspot activity.

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        • leeduigon

          Sort of like inventing String Theory because that’s what makes your equations come out right–but it has nothing whatever to do with reality.

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          • UnKnowable

            I love science and the solid basis upon which our understanding of mechanical and electrical theory are based give one faith that there is an amazing level of order to the Universe. I’m not thinking of theoretical physics here, but the established sciences such as classical mechanics and the laws governing electricity and magnetism give us a lot of insight into the Creator.

            Faraday was a devout man and theorized electromagnetic fields and helped to tie electricity and chemistry together. His Glasite beliefs, while somewhat nuanced, are said to have influenced his view of the Universe and caused him to search for unity at all levels. So he saw electromagnetic phenomena as arising from the particle level and this helped him to visualize the actions of the electromagnetic force. If you did anything today which relied upon electricity, you are living proof of Faraday’s theories.

            Flip over to Hawking, an atheist whom has chosen to issue evermore disturbing press releases of late, promoting his political notions. While he was part of some truly amazing discoveries, he has spent a lot of time deeply immersed in the theoretical and unprovable. In my opinion, he has become a parody of himself.

            Physics has some serious limits. They can’t account for the cohesion of galaxies with the quantities of mass they are certain make up those galaxies, so they have decided that the missing mass is “dark matter”, about which they know nothing, but there has to be 5.4 times as much dark matter as there is observable matter, or their theories break down. Dark matter only manifests itself by gravitational effect.

            The expansion of the Universe is too great to function from any known mechanism, so they have postulated dark energy as making up 68% of the Universe. There’s no way to detect it, but without it there’s no way to explain the expansion of the Universe.

            In each of these examples, you could use the word imaginary in place of the word dark. They need both dark matter and dark energy to make the math work, but cannot prove either exist. If I drive too fast down a road, can I plead that Dark Energy propelled my car to extra-legal speed? Sure, but I doubt that will help out in traffic court. Even cosmologists have spoken of dark matter as being on par with invoking the Tooth Fairy, but now they are wanting to invoke him again with dark energy. Apparently the thought that they don’t understand it all that well. is too dire to consider.

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          • leeduigon

            If your math needs you to make up things to make it work, then your math is poppycock.

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          • UnKnowable

            . . . or based upon incorrect assumptions.

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  • Linda Sorci

    How about soldiers transformed. Seems like they might avail themselves of robot psychologists:

    http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/darpa-reveals-65-million-matrix-program-plug-soldiers-brains-directly-computer/

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    • leeduigon

      thanks for the link, Linda, I was going to write about it this morning (if I can ever get started!). And as usual, it’s got a lovely sugar-coating of glorious medical progress.

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  • UnKnowable

    How can anyone think it’s a good idea to do something of this nature?

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    • Linda Sorci

      It’s insane – which describes much of our government.

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      • UnKnowable

        It describes much of our world. This is a Satanic world we live in. Satan hates all humans, even those whom follow him. From my earliest years, I was taught that Satan was leading the nations, causing divisions and keeping the human family in darkness. I used to take this with a grain of salt, but not anymore. The difference being that now it is more serious, more contentious, more desperate as he tries to seal mankind’s fate. It’s not going to work and he will not win.

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