Your article (Hi-tech brain drain threatens British university research, two November) contains a person particularly chilling revelation: that Google DeepMind now operates artificial intelligence programs at UCL and Oxford.
Having met the DeepMind men and women in my position together with the MIT Media Lab, I know that their definition of “intelligence” is so impoverished that it doesn’t increase beyond the abstract calculations that an algorithm can reach, and totally fails to understand that human intelligence is embodied and dispersed throughout our physical selves – and indeed amongst them, while in the mirror neurons that fireside in sympathy when we watch a dancer or help an injured close friend. In brief, it is not merely depressing, it is terrible science.
Artificial intelligence in the kind Google promotes can perform Go and even – in a pinch – recognise Bach or Picasso. It can never ever produce Bach or Picasso, even now a lot less understand the complexity of social forms and culture that made their lives possible.
If we entrust the education of these who will decide the future relationship of individuals and devices to the company whose main perception is usually that all human experience is often replicated by algorithms, all we can hope is world wide warming wipes us out before the devices do.