Ghost in the AI

Today’s must read article is from Wm Briggs:

Ghost In The AI

Hot readings are cheating. Cons peek in wallets, purses, and now on the Internet, and note relevant facts, such as addresses, birthdays, and various other bits of personal information. Cold readings are when the con probes the mark, trying many different lines of inquiry—“I see the letter ‘M’”—which rely on the mark providing relevant feedback. “I had a pet duck when I was four named Missy?” “That’s it! Missy misses you from Duck Heaven.” “You can see!”

You might not believe it, but cold reading is shockingly effective. I have used it many times in practicing mentalism (mental magic), all under the guise of “scientific psychological theory.” People want to believe in psychics, and they want to believe in science maybe even more.

What’s funny is that even after you expose the psychic or scientist or scientific theory as a fraud, people still believe, not necessarily in the fraudster, but in the fraud. Keene dubbed this the “true-believer syndrome”.

He goes on to speak about AI and the Turing Test. Like my teacher Mortimer Adler, I do not believe the Turing Test will ever be passed —

With this caveat. I do not believe the Turing Test will ever be passed if the machine is talking to me. If the machine is talking to someone who wants to believe in AI, someone who bends facts to fit theories, the machine will pass with flying colors.

Granting inanimate objects civil rights will be the great cause célèbre in AD 2081, about the same year the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution assure everyone perfect equality, and the 214th through 220th Amendment gives women the right not only to kill children up to age 21 (the sixty-sixth trimester), but disappointing spouses and nagging parents as well.