An article by Simone Cosimi on Repubblica.it re-sings the old refrain of “the computer is stronger than a human playing chess” in the variant “Go” (which is a Chinese game, but that the journalist qualifies with Japanese terms about a Korean player, despite being the game known and played for centuries in Japan and Korea).
A semantic rigour aside, that a computer – or better, a software, can be “stronger” than a human being – is hardly a news. Everyone who plays chess knows that, having honed their skills with the many programs, some really excellent, available to the general public. As it is hardly a news the fact that the software is so advanced as to put in difficulty professionals or even champions.
But from here, to say – or to suggest – that we are dealing with a system that is more “intelligent” than Man, there is a huge gap. It would be like saying that since a mechanical arm makes perfect welds that no human being can replicate, it should be considered as able to “think”.
The problem, here, is the absence – or rather the disappearance – of the “neuter” genre in the language, because the trick of the narrative about “artificial” intelligence is in the words. Software does neither “learn” or “understand” but simply modifies its functioning at various levels of autonomy. Continue reading ““AI” and the importance of “Neuter””