Every historical phase had its superstitions, false creeds and fake prophets, whose “reliability” was boosted by illustrious (while ignorant) believers, and our times aren’t by no means any different.
“Artificial Intelligence” is one of the fastest growing false creed among “influencer”, “media guru”, law scholars and – in general – people who are keen in talking about things they ignore while can’t be proven wrong.
As in the past, the blind conversion to this modern faith doesn’t imply, for the believer, the need to either actually know or understand the “message”. What matters is to repeat it as a mantra, bashing all different opinions coming from “non believers”. And as in the past, the conversion to the new cult of high-profile society members makes easy to poison the political (and therefore, legal) basis of a society.
For very long time, AI has been a very specialized topic, reserved to scientists and engineers. A long history of trials and failure showed the philosophical and technical limit of the AI notion and, until very recent times, nobody actually thought of AI as a topic of broader interest.
Gone are the times when magazines accounted for the achievements of IBM’s Deep Blue in the chess gaming, to be now replaced by car manufacturer, software houses and smart-whatever devices all claiming to “own” an artificial intelligence (well, this is true for the notion written in non capitalized words.)
The fact that a lot of these new believers, eager to show their understanding of modernity, has a poor (or none) grasp on the topic, is matched by their denial of this lack of knowledge. They dislike when somebody tells them they’re naked and not dressed and behave like the Plinius’ shoemaker. And stay in stupour in front of any techno-bubble the IT marketing experts produce in front of them.
The consequences of this mixture of ignorance, arrogance and power are dire, because law makers (not such a brilliant breed by themselves, indeed) will ear the suggestion coming from these “converted patricians” (after all, are they journalists, full professors or “experts”, aren’t they?) and shall pass confused and dangerous legislation.
And those who are empowered to enforce the law will do it on the very same ignorant assumptions.