David Robertson just published an amazing article, "Artificial Intelligence Or Real Stupidity?" in which he unbuckles the crux of where applied artifical intelligence is today.

What really piqued my interest in this article, is when David's writing moved on from artificial general intelligence (AGI) to the topic of 'Augmentation'.

Augmentation is a topic near and dear to my heart because here at Sceeto, I think that this is what we do with our own trading by augmenting trade execution and order flow analysis with bots, and ultimately what we are bringing to the trading community.

Robertson does a great job of collecitng informtion from some important scientists in this field.

From the article:

Another common thread among the AI researches is the belief that AI should be used to augment human labor rather than replace it.

Cynthia Breazeal, Director of the personal robots group for MIT media laboratory, frames the issue: “The question is what’s the synergy, what’s the complementarity, what’s the augmentation that allows us to extend our human capabilities in terms of what we do that allows us to really have greater impact in the world.”

Fei-Fei Li, Professor of computer science at Stanford and Chief Scientist for Google Cloud, described, “AI as a technology has so much potential to enhance and augment labor, in addition to just replace it.”

James Manyika, Chairman and director of McKinsey Global Institute noted since 60% of occupations have about a third of their constituent activities automatable and only about 10% of occupations have more than 90% automatable, “many more occupations will be complemented or augmented by technologies than will be replaced.”

Further, AI can only augment human labor insofar as it can effectively work with human labor.

Barbara Grosz pointed out, “I said at one point that ‘AI systems are best if they’re designed with people in mind’.” She continued, “I recommend that we aim to build a system that is a good team partner and works so well with us that we don’t recognize that it isn’t human.”

David Ferrucci, Founder of Elemental Cognition and Director of applied AI at Bridgewater Associates, said, “The future we envision at Elemental Cognition has human and machine intelligence tightly and fluently collaborating.” He elaborated, “We think of it as thought-partnership.” Yoshua Bengio reminds us, however, of the challenges in forming such a partnership: “It’s not just about precision [with AI], it’s about understanding the human context, and computers have absolutely zero clues about that.”

It is interesting that there is a fair amount of consensus regarding key ideas such as AGI is not an especially useful goal right now, AI should be applied to augment labor and not replace it, and AI should work in partnership with people. It’s also interesting that these same lessons are borne out by corporate experiences.

The evolution of using computers to augment human activity, as opposed to entirely replacing it, is what is acheivable today...and what is already in production via our trading bots, aka Sceetos (Self-Contained-Electronic-Exchange-Trading-Orbs).