On the sensationalism of artificial intelligence news

We can’t know for sure.

However, I’m willing to say that it is partly due to these two reasons: clicks and lack of understanding.

The internet is vast, and getting users to visit your website is basically a competition.

To attract them, people employ some of the cheapest tricks we all know, such as clickbait titles or over-the-top (and often fake) news.

By using a sensationalized headline, they’ll for sure bring many users, which translate to ads revenue or popularity, and by manipulating the content and straying from the truth, they’ll surely grab the attention who aren’t well familiar with the reality.

Reason number two could be genuinely not understanding the issues behind what they are trying to inform.

AI and machine learning are complicated fields, and many of its concepts are complex, tedious, and not easy to explain.

Thus, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the misinformed facts are merely non-intended human errors.

Doing machine learning.

Photo by me.

Nonetheless, whether it was a mistake or something done on purpose, one of the main problems here is that this trend of wrongly informing AI news may lead to fearmongering.

As I said before, AI is a somehow mysterious field that, for years, has been associated with The Terminator, the robot uprising, and the end of the world.

So, when we have news saying that a robot killed a man, that another is calling others “negroes,” or that a Tesla on semi-autopilot caused a deadly accident, the masses will start to associate the idea of AI, the so new called electricity that should benefit the humankind, with the Armageddon or as something detrimental for us, when in reality, it isn’t like that.


Reposted with permission.

Bio: Juan De Dios Santos is a data guy, whos currently traveling and wandering around the world.

As part of his adventure, hes logging, reliving, and telling my travel stories through data in a project called Wander Data.

Previously, Juan worked as a Big Data and Machine Learning Engineer at LOVOO, a dating company based in Germany, where he used data and machine learning to detect spammers and scammers.

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