Art. 1: « Le Grand Orient de Belgique, obédience masculine, maillon de la franc-maçonnerie universelle, demande à celui qui se présente à l’Initiation d’être honnête homme et d’être capable de comprendre et de propager les principes maçonniques. Il exige de ses membres, la sincérité des convictions, le désir de s’instruire et le dévouement. Il forme une société d’hommes probes et libres qui, liés par des sentiments de liberté, d’égalité et de fraternité, travaillent individuellement et en commun au progrès social, et exercent ainsi la bienveillance dans le sens le plus étendu ».
« La pensée ne doit jamais se soumettre, ni à un dogme, ni à un parti, ni à une passion, ni à un intérêt, ni à une idée préconçue, ni à quoi que ce soit, si ce n'est aux faits eux-mêmes, parce que, pour elle, se soumettre, ce serait cesser d'être. » Henri Poincaré

Saisir des mots clefs à rechercher

mercredi 13 mai 2020

∆∆∆ AI And The Death Of Exploration, by Sushma Sharma | Forbes Technology Council | Via notre F ML 17 mai 2020



The ability to choose well is arguably the most powerful right in today’s world. Wars have occurred and millions of lives have been lost for the freedom that has ultimately given the power to each one of us to choose. 

The person or group that controls the choice of people controls the environment around them. 

So how exactly are we protecting this cardinal right in today’s world ? Let’s look at a typical scenario.

Imagine lying on your couch, casually browsing Netflix. It’s Friday night; the popcorn is in the microwave popping and you’re deciding what to watch before turning in for the night. You might see a heading similar to something that says, “Because you watched Dear White People,” and then underneath see such suggestions as She’s Gotta Have It, Chewing Gum and Greenleaf. Or, “Because you added The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society to your list,” followed by options like The Silence of Music, Midsomer Murders and Wild Oats.

Based on titles you’ve recently viewed or clicked on, Netflix uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create a customized viewing experience catered specifically to your personal preferences. The titles you’re suggested and even the images with which you’re presented within those titles all reflect your past viewing and browsing behaviors.

Even when scrolling through your social media newsfeed, you will inevitably find content that is tailored to your occupation, your political affiliation, your geographic location, your hobbies, your search history and even your conversations with others.

All of the above examples show AI at work. 

What was once thought of as robots or computers with human characteristics, AI today encompasses a wide range of technologies, including self-driving cars, autonomous weapons and at-home rapid diagnostic tests. Companies use AI for a variety of tasks, such as customer service, workload automation, performance and behavior prediction, and marketing.

AI is also used across multiple industries, allowing for efficiency for employees and end users alike. In healthcare, for instance, AI can be used to provide X-ray readings and to remind patients to take any medications they are prescribed. In banking, AI can help identify fraudulent transactions and conduct fast and accurate credit scoring.

Companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Facebook are incentivized to use algorithms to create a personalized experience for users so that they are inclined to visit the sites more often and stay on them longer. Users might enjoy the convenience of being presented with items they are likely to enjoy rather than having to search from scratch.

However, the incredible ease masks the long-term negative effects to which such a high degree of customization can contribute.

According to a Pew Report, a panel of 979 experts (technology pioneers, innovators, policy leaders, researchers and activists) predicted that AI-based algorithms will thwart human autonomy and agency. Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, said, “Every time we program our environments, we end up programming ourselves and our interactions. Humans have to become more standardized, removing serendipity and ambiguity from our interactions. And this ambiguity and complexity is what is the essence of being human.”

How we interpret the world is determined by what we see on a regular basis, and that, in turn, influences the world around us. Being shown content that is similar to what we’ve enjoyed in the past almost guarantees that we will continue to engage with the same messages over and over again. It does not give us a chance to challenge our ways of thinking by exposing ourselves to content with which we might not agree.

In the case of news stories, for example, being presented with opposing points of view is necessary in order to have a comprehensive understanding of an issue and be able to develop fully informed opinions. Only through engaging with different viewpoints and having conversations about them can we actually solve issues.

To be able to truly choose, we must evaluate all available options and select the best one; this is one of the basic tenets of being human.

Having news content catered only to one’s personal and political views presents a skewed image of the world and leads to the creation of “mini bubbles,” which serve to polarize and divide us even more than we already are.

What’s more, being presented with options based on what we’ve already seen and liked is limiting in that it does not allow us to branch out and discover other potentially interesting options that we might enjoy. Lack of exposure leads to missed opportunities to explore new interests, hobbies, people and places. With the internet, we literally have the whole world available to us at our fingertips. If we are constantly staying in the same place, we cease to grow, and when we cease to grow, we cease to live.

The threat of choice and exploration with AI highlights the need for companies that are focused on objective knowledge sharing. We cannot just have our own perspective constantly being fed back to us; we need entities that encourage us to see multiple sides of an issue. Customized content feeds create a convenient experience for users, but if we’re not careful, such convenience can come at the cost of vital personal growth. Unfulfilled human potential seems like a high price to pay for a few minutes saved.

The popular phrase by Descartes, “I think, therefore I am,” is the foundation of all knowledge. Now it is up to us to find the right balance between convenience and choice.

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify ?

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