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So and today we are here to talk about something, well, quite extraordinary I would say which is artificial intelligence. So, do you have a lot to say on the topic of artificial intelligence?
Let’s talk about all those stereotypes and preconceptions about it. And I think it would be smart to first talk about what is it? I mean, what is artificial intelligence? How do you understand that?
I guess we could say it’s the use of technology in order to help humans achieve certain goals or aims. I guess that’s the easiest way of describing, yeah.
Yeah, I think of robots and robots are supposed to be able to do things, maybe better than humans. But they don’t have emotions like we do, so they are emotionless.
Oh yet. Okay. That’s the scary part.
Alright. So but what makes then AI different from let’s say a vacuum… Is vacuum cleaner an AI? An example of AI?
Well that’s a good question because now you have those modern vacuum cleaners.
Oh, that’s right, the Roomba.
What are they called again?
Yes, where the cats like to ride.
Oh so the cats sit on top of them? The Roomba vacuum cleaner.
Oh I love those videos, yes. But so, are they AI? What about a coffee maker?
Yes, it is the beginnings of it because I had to think about my first experiences of what led to what we call AI. And the first thing I could think of was… I don’t know if you know this or not but banking hours used to only be 5 hours a day. It used to be…
It would open up at 10 in the morning and go to 3 in the afternoon. And so if you are in the workforce you had to go on your lunch hour and then they expanded it. And then they had drive-thru later and then the ATMs. It’s progressing this way. So I think we could consider these vacuum cleaners at least on the pathway to the, you know, extreme or elite AI.
Well I would say that my understanding of AI it’s… That’s it’s a tool that has the ability to learn and act accordingly. So let’s say if that’s a vacuum cleaner that, you know, the old fashioned vacuum cleaner, then I would say it’s not an example of artificial intelligence because it is just a tool that is controlled exclusively by humans.
So I decide when to switch it on and switch it off and how to do everything with it. But let’s say the modern ones that you have mentioned by the way, the Roombas, I would say that this is already an example of AI cause you just turn it on and then it goes on and so around the apartment.
Do the Roombas or whatever they’re called, do they switch themselves on? Or do they have to be activated by…?
They have to be activated, but later on they, you know, act on their own. So you just activate it and then it goes, you know, on its own route around the house. So it decides what to clean and what not. Sometimes it might have a trouble if there’s a carpet cause it’s like, it sends messages like can’t get on, an obstacle, an obstacle.
That’s so cool. So does she have like an app on her smartphone which….?
Yeah. You can give it a name, like I have a friend who gave a name to her Roomba and she named it meatball.
And then she gets messages like Meatball is back at the station.
Now you used the word learned rather that programmed, so are you saying that there’s going to be something, there’s a difference between learning and being programmed?
They say that yes, so programming is more about the current state, let’s say, of AI. And they say the aim of AI is to learn on its own. So that you have some initial settings and then depending on the surrounding, the machine will learn how to behave accordingly.
Maybe we’ll rely on the Roomba to make our life’s decisions then.
Okay, now we have Okay Google, what should I do? Maybe it’ll be Okay Roomba, what university to get to? You know, funny as it may sound, I would not even be surprised at this point. Like our world is evolving way too fast sometimes in terms of technology.
Well a few years ago I reads an article about how advanced South Korea is in technology and they were talking about… in the field of medicine. So you can do something at home and then somehow contact your doctor through this technology. And I think that it’s also a pathway, but it doesn’t describe what you’re describing, of having its own.
What do you mean contact your doctor? So the doctor is contacted when a heart’s monitor is treating…
That and also if you have, let’s say you took a blood sample or something at home. And then you can enter something through some device. And it would reach the doctor and the doctor would make some kind of prognosis on that.
Yes, it is. But it still doesn’t come up to the point of making its own decisions.
Fair enough. But I still think that it’s already AI, at least, you know… I mean, that would already be AI, but it’s not as advanced as people hope it would be. Not yet.
It’s must be controversial. Do everyone… Does everyone want it being…?
Oh yeah, it’s a very controversial topic. It’s also a very scary topic.
Well, you can equate it with a cloning, like cloning a sheep. It’s very controversial.
Yep. Do you remember the story of Dolly the sheep?
Yeah, that was quite freaky. To say the least.
Yeah, giving too much power to something that goes against our love of freedom. And that’s the scary part.
Yeah, yeah, I agree. But what if we talk about AI used in our lives now? So we have talked about Roomba, okay, how else is AI used? What other devices…
On smartphones, those QR codes or something, that’s something like, some kind of intelligence. You just flash something, cross something and then messages are transmitted. I don’t have one, so. But I see people in the grocery store going flash flash, swipe swipe, look at me, I’ve got a QR.
To be honest, I don’t ever use QR codes unless I…
To be honest, I’ve only used them like once or twice, but actually do you use them frequently Barbara?
No, I don’t have one downloaded. But maybe they are not swiping QRs, maybe they’re swiping their loyalty card or something. Maybe that.
I mean with QR codes… Well, I have had situations when I thought oh that would be cool if I had one, you know. But I don’t even know if I have an app for it. I know that some people have a built-in function in their phones to scan QR codes.
Well I’ve got a really old iPhone5, I refuse to get a newer one and my iPhone 5 has a QR code reader, so you know the home screen which you activate if you have an iPhone, you have the option to activate a QR code reader, option at the bottom if you so wish to.
Yeah. Well, that’s the iPhone users, you know, privilege.
The built-in function of QR reader.
I’ll use another R word. He said refuse, and I have this resistance for new thing I guess. And I think it’s because I don’t like to feel burdened. And if I have another app on my phone, it just seems my phone would be so heavy to carry around. And I just don’t like having to take care of all these little things and these details, I want to be free. Unfeathered.
I want to break free. You know, I had, I recently had a situation when I thought oh that would be cool to have a QR code, well, two actually. The first one was I was on a subway train and there was this ad of a new delivery service and there was a list of ingredients.
Like, eggs, tomatoes, olive oil and something else. So what do you think the meal could be? Scan the QR code, let us know and if you guess right we will give you a 300 rubles discount for the first delivery. I’m like it’s clearly a shakshuka, like, and I’m like oh I don’t have a QR reader.
Oh, yeah, a missed opportunity.
And then the next one is the reason is why I think I should download the reader is remember how we talked about tipping nowadays? So a lot of places have this QR codes for digital tipping cause not many of us carry cash around. So and I think I have to have this, cause very often I have a situation when I want to leave some tips, but I can’t.
So then I ask the person like can you give a phone number or something so I can transfer you the money. So, yeah. QR codes are everywhere around us now.
Oh I used one, I actually have one successfully downloaded on my iPad and I have signed contracts by such a device. Yes, someone will send me a contract and by scanning my QR I can sign it and send it.
Yeah. I mean, usually the only times I’ve used QR codes are I guess when you are booking flights or something or when you get on… boarding a flight, sometimes you have the option to scan a QR code.
Oh yeah, oh yeah, that’s true.
Wouldn’t that be the same as when we get vaccinated? And the controversial thing – should we be, you know, QRed to our vac?
Yeah, I think so, I think so. I’m elite, I have something special, look at me, flash.
That would be convenient at the very least. So and what about AI being used in social media? Do you know anything about that?
I guess, I’m trying to think. So I know for instance when you go onto websites and there’s a AI sales assistant sometimes that pops up and helps you. I guess that… It’s not really social media, but I guess that somewhat related.
I think that falls under the category of… Okay, social media and marketing let’ say.
Okay, yeah, and marketing then. So, they wanna track us on Facebook with what we click on. But now Facebook has lowered the hammer and said we’re not gonna do that anymore. And so now these marketers have to be really nice to us and say oh, could you please tell us how you like that ad? I’m like I don’t like any of your ads. Leave me alone.
Well, have you ever had an example of how you Googled something, let’s say, I do not know, buy cheese Novosibirsk, and then wherever you look, you see the ad for cheese. So targeted advertisement is powered by the AI.
So we have this. And, okay, in Russia… I think we might have talked about this in one of the episodes, but in Russia for example targeted ad is limited to what you Google. So let’s say you search for something, then you know, it activates all the, the whole mechanism.
Yeah, algorithm that is, again, functioning because of the AI. But I had the situation in the US. Never had this situation in Russia, but I clearly had this in the US. So when my friend and I, we were driving from New York city to Boston, we stopped at a supermarket, well, some kind of a supermarket, and there were jelly fish, Swedish Fish. I never bought them, but I asked, oh, why Swedish fish? What’s Swedish Fish?
Oh it’s that candy, isn’t it?
Yeah, it’s candies and she told me about that. And I was like oh cool. I bought some candies, but not the Swedish Fish, so it was never, you know, in my purchase history, it was never linked to my credit card, we just talked about this. The next day I saw an ad for Swedish Fish in my Instagram.
And then I kept seeing, you know, the same ad appearing in my Facebook, Vk and other social media. I think, throughout a week, which means that maybe nowadays it’s not only what you Google, but what you talk about.
Even though a lot of companies, you know, they kinda deny that. Whereas some companies say, well, there is technology that, you know, gets the code word. So if you say one thing over and over and over again, then you’ll see the ad for it.
You mean your phone is recording you?
Oh yeah, it’s not a secret.
There’s been some controversy recently with one of the main, I can’t remember which one specifically it was, I don’t wanna name a company for fear of being sued.
I don’t think they’re gonna listen to our podcast and sue you.
Maybe not, but yeah, there was a controversy whereby the device was listening to the users while not supposedly being activated. It was collecting information.
Oh you know there’s actually… Not many people know about that, but those who work in digital marketing do that you can check the setting and you know, some of the information that Google has on you if you go to certain websites, if you have certain, you know, functions on and everything.
I can later send you a link. And the amount of information that Google has on you is astonishing. They usually guess right all of the information like age, preferences, I mean like what you buy, where you shop more often. Whether you have kids or not. So a lot that. I mean…
I have on my Facebook and I went to it because I wanted to get one ad off. But they make it so complicated so I said okay, I’ll deal with the ad. I’ll just mute it. But they had me all wrong, they had me like age 24 to 36.
Maybe that’s your… You know how they have the physical age and then the biological age and then thy psychological age.
Oh yeah, that’s my good news. And they had all these ads that I don’t recall ever clicking on or interested in.
Yeah, so I don’t know what Facebook is doing.
Well I’m not on Facebook much, but I checked Google once. Not that because I only recently came across this opportunity and, you know, this function, option. But I decided to see how much has been saved on me. And I was actually surprised to see that even parts of my conversations have been recorded.
Like, I was like audio file? Maybe I recorded something, you know, with something. I clicked on it and it was just random part of a conversation with my friend when she called me and said where are you? I’m like I’m on a train, I’m gonna be there in 10.
Why is it there? And it’s so random! Like, a very random recording of that conversation, like, January 2019. Like, what? But that’s all become possible thanks to AI because, you know, it’s impossible for a human to analyze this amount of data. But it’s an easy job for AI to analyze this. So targeted ad.
Actually, since we’re talking about social media, AI is used in Instagram as well to fight spam and some kind of, you know, how do you… Not spam, well, span, and also some content that should not be on Instagram for example… So let’s say if it’s 18+ content, swearing, so AI can now detect it and delete it.
Oh that’s really funny you mention that, and many… I think it was two years ago I posted this photo. I saw it… I was in London and I was walking around town and I saw this photo of… Do you know the Tamil Tigers?
This militant group in Sri Lanka and I saw a picture of this like Tamil Tiger poster on one of the off-license windows, if anyone knows what an off-license windows is… Do you know what an off-license…?
A lot of things I Have no idea of…
Off-license is just like a corner shop and I saw this Tamil Tiger poster on an off-license window and I just took a photo of it and posted on Instagram. They took it down because they said it’s…
Yeah, it’s violent, it depicts violence.
It depicts… Well it was just a picture of one of the military leaders.
It might inspire someone.
Yeah. It was just… It was not like call to arms, it was just a photo of…
But still. That’s glorifying. It could be interpreted as.
And I didn’t… It wasn’t like I’m endorsing the Tamil Tigers or anything. I just thought it would be funny to share it.
Yeah. So AI in… Again, this is artificial intelligence that is now used to identify all the swearings, all the inappropriate pictures, all the propaganda in some way. So usually if you post something which contains nudity, swearing, blood. So they would take it down.
Oh blood? So what, if you cut your finger and you post a photo of it?
It might be taken down, yes.
Because it might be traumatic to some people to see that. So and then they either take it down or they put, you know… Sometimes when you go through, when you scroll through Instagram you might see a post that is kinda covered which says sensitive content, only click if you’re ready or if you’re 18+.
So especially when there are videos of different, well, let’s say now the videos from Palestine and from Israel, they are covered and it’s marked as sensitive content. If it’s something explicit, if it’s something gory, it’s gonna be taken down, cause it’s, yeah. It might be traumatic they say, so the AI will just delete it.
Well not only traumatic to some people, but it’s actually… They’re trying to keep things from spreading. And violence can be spread really easily through social media. And since we’ve had some limitations to Facebook in the United States, violence has actually gone down in some ways. Actually the spread of violence, violent messages.
What do you mean? How do we quantify that? Spread of violence?
Oh by how… Well there are people who are analyzing threats and then you’re going to see if these are people who are calling to arms or let’s me hear and do such and such. And then this happens, then they know that it’s successfully being spread.
Well I mean there’s WhatsApp, I mean people can just go on WhatsApp and, I mean, should WhatsApp be…
Well I’m talking specifically… Cause I didn’t really wanna mention that because it makes me so angry but I’ll just mention it very quickly. But we had this big storming of our Capital on January 6. And it was shown, it was proved that a lot of this organization was through social media.
Not only that storming, but things that have led up to that. And so when they kicked certain people off of Facebook and then certain person couldn’t spread things on Facebook and Youtube, then violence has gone down. That’s what I’m talking about.
But that also kinda brings up the question of should all the messengers as well, not only social media, but messengers be controlled and, you know, censored? Cause you’ve mentioned WhatsApp.
Well actually, for instance, email. Email doesn’t belong to us, do you know this? In the United States, email belongs to whoever has it. So we’re supposed to adhere to their rules actually.
Yeah, I men personally I believe that there should be publishers and then you should have platforms. And publishers and platforms should be treated separately and if one company wants to designate itself as a platform.
Well like we talked about Twitter. I remember you gave an example of Twitter in this way.
Yeah. Yeah-yeah-yeah, I remembered. So my personal opinion is that social media should not filter anything, it should be completely free fall.
That’s radical. It’s really radical.
I think, I mean I think it’s… If you’re gonna be a publisher, then you should be allowed to be sued. So if you’re gonna call for violence, it’s your social media, your platform, so…
Okay, what about in Germany then, if the platform really allowed Nazism to be such…
As mush as I hate Nazism, I think that they should be allowed to air themselves, or else they’ll go underground.
Threading on thin ice over here. So why don’t I just, you know, gently switch the topic and ask you about chatbots?
I mean I’m a Jew I really don’t like Nazis, so…
I’m gently trying to switch the topic over here Benjamin.
So chatbots, why don’t we talk about that?
Oh these things that pop up like you’re saying yeah, those irritate me. Yeah, I kinda lose my temper with those. The way I type in.
Have you ever experienced actually chatting over there and trying to solve a problem with the help of a chatbots?
Well I didn’t know it was an automatic thing so when I realized this, that I couldn’t talk sense to this thing. And so I stopped.
Alright. Can you think of any websites or apps where you have seen the chatbot or where you have used the chatbot?
I have a couple of times I think. I’m trying to think when was the last time. I think it was when I was trying to get assistance with my British passport being renewed and I think I used the chatbot to answer some basic questions about that.
You know, it’s interesting cause sometimes they are so accurate as if you’re talking to a person. And sometimes you don’t even realize it’s a chatbot that it’s AI and not a real person. I love the AI-powered chatbot that is used in banking apps. Like I have a Bank of America app, I have Tinkoff bank app bank. And in there they used chatbots.
So every time I need to solve some kind of a problem, like oh, I go to my Bank of America app and I love it that they called their chatbot Erica, cause it says Hi, I am Erica.
Oh I must have special problems because they can never solve my problem.
Well I mean, yeah, they are usually programmed, you know, to only deal with the most common problems I would say. Like the most commonly asked questions. Usually I ask just, you know, the basic things.
You’re not supposed to ask those questions, you’re supposed to go to the FAQ sheet and look up those things yourself. They provide us consumers with FAQ sheets.
You’re not supposed to bother Erica.
Erica can handle I’m pretty sure.
So you’re all for naming these bots and these robots and these AI thing.
I don’t know, I kinda like it. But I mean, there are certain things that I cannot look up because if I say can you analyze my spendings over the 6 months’ period, I mean, and then I just get the answer like oh, you spent this much on entertainment, this much on supermarkets, this much on travelling. Thank you. Erica might be very…
Oh you are very polite to them as well.
Oh and what about, speaking of, you know, assistance and being polite. What about digital assistance? So all these, what’s her name? Siri.
Is that the same company? No.
Siri is Apple and Alexa’s Amazon.
Amazon! And now they have Cortana I think my Microsoft.
And what’s the Yandex one?
And what do you think about those? What do they do?
My brother has one, my mother has one. They’re kinda freaky to be honest, I don’t really wanna have one. But sometimes they can be useful if you…
They can just help you find out basic information, so if you want to find out the weather forecast for the upcoming week, you could say hey Alexa, tell me what’s the weather forecast. And they all will happily tell you. Sometimes it can help you play music if you want to play music.
Play music, turn it up, turn it down. Oh it’s not only limited to that, I think. Cause now if it’s Alexa at least, I’m not sure about Siri or Alisa. Since Alexa is Amazon’s and it’s usually connected to your Amazon profile, you can say Alexa, order this this this with a delivery to that date on that address.
Done! So or Alexa, book a table on that place for that day. And if a place has a website, if I’m not mistaken, Alexa can do that. So yeah.
I’ve had, on my phone, if I’m staying up late at night and I’m googling something or looking at something and then all of a sudden I push the wrong button and croissana, what’s her name? Cortana?
Yeh, she comes on. And really loudly How may I help you Barbara? And I’m like freaked, I’m just like who? And I’m like get off there. And I’m pushing all the buttons to get her off, oh I can’t stand it. I feel so invaded and she’s croaching upon my space and time. Oh I hate it.
I’ve seen videos of people being very polite with these. Like, you know, Siri, could you please do that? Hi Siri, could you please check the weather forecast? And that’s so adorable. But I hear that people who… I recently watched a video with centenarians from Britain.
And they were asked, you know, about their experiences, how they’re dealing with all the little things now that they are 110, 115, cause that’s, you know, pretty rough age I would say to go grocery shopping.
And they say that now with the invention and the development of these digital assistants – it has become so much easier for them. Cause they just say, let’s say Alexa, or Siri, could you please, you know, order the delivery from that place or something, with the contact list.
It was not a tv show, but it was a video on Youtube. I think it’s called centenarians in Britain. It’s like 2018-2019 maybe. So five people were interviewed about, you know, their regrets, their life choices.
It must be so funny having been born in whatever was 1918 or 1919 and then seeing the change of technology.
Yeah, a lot of these people went through two world wars, they have seen, you know, everything basically, yeah.
So that reminds moon an SNL, Saturday Night Life episode, have you ever seen it? Where they’re doing a spoof on Alexa.
Oh I haven’t seen this one.
Oh it’s so funny. It was a while back and they had these, you know, actors dressed up as old people and they went Alexa, you know, what is the weather? And then Alexa would answer and then because they’re so-called old they will be forgetful and ask again and then ask these other questions. And it shows how Alexa is very patient with her responses. It was really funny, you could look it up.
I had one funny situation when I didn’t know that my fiancée’s laptop had Alisa, which is Yandex’s assistant. But god, that was hilarious, cause we were just sitting, talking about things and I was telling my fiancée a story how I talked to my best friend, whose name is Alisa about how I came from the US and how much I missed shawarma.
So and I was like oh yeah, my friend and I, we went there and I said Alisa, I miss shawarma so much. And then the Alisa, the digital assistant, says I missed you too honey. I’m like what the hell? What? This is… This was very freaky.
Like? First of all I did not know we had this digital assistant on a laptop and second, what the hell?
This is when I guess, well, humans and robots are kind of melting into each other and they’re kinda fading into our existence.
Yeah, it becomes saturated with it. Yeah, within our…
And then it’s gonna be normal, right. I mean, the kids are growing up nowadays, oh it’s normal for them.
Did you ever watch Black Mirror?
Black Mirror, yeah, yeah, they beautifully depict people’s fears and anxieties about…
I was just gonna say about an episode.
Is that what it is about? I watched a couple of episodes, I couldn’t figure it out. What is this? I never could figure out Black Mirror, it was always so, like, Matrix or something, on the other side of something.
Yeah, it shows the potential future of some devices and technology being used and what that can lead to. But they have an episode on digital assistance and everything. Which was a little bit scary, but.
I think the scariest one in my opinion, the scariest episode was the Christmas episode, if you remember that correctly, whereby… It was an equivalent of Alexa or…
That’s the episode I’m talking about.
Yeah, you’re talking about…
Where a person out a part of her soul or a part of her something, so yeah. So the digital assistant was her trapped not some kind of a device. And then this part, conscious part, realized that and went crazy. Yeah, it was scary. And it has so many layers in it as well. Yeah, I think it’s called…
I believe you can find it on Netflix. The Black Mirror series.
Right, right. Yeah, that’s what I saw.
So for our listeners – definitely check out Black Mirror on Netflix.
And you know, even in the past there have been different stories about these assistants. Have you, per chance, read Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt?
So it’s a short story and just we remember that Ray Bradbury was writing in the 40s or 50s.
So he has a short story about a house, a smart house which can cook for you, cook dinner for you, show things on the walls, you know, just basically move you into another universe through the holograms on the walls.
It can wash and fold and do everything. And then one day it has gone, well, let’s say it has gone crazy. And the children, they were so obsessed with this virtual reality that they didn’t wanna leave the room. And what that has led to. I don’t wanna spoil, so… It’s a short story, so if you have time, so read it, The Veldt.
Ray Bradbury and then the old Twilight Zone is the same kind of thing of putting us in another dimension and introducing AI type things, robots taking over.
So and before… We have actually a whole part of the episode devoted to the potential dangers of the AI, but we’ll get to that, you know, the scary part. So but what are the benefits of AI? So what is good about them?
Well it’s kind of like… It’s a double edged sword. So it’s like the Internet essentially, it can be used for… I mean the good parts are it’s a shortcut for life, it’s a life’s shortcut, you can have things organized in such a short space of time.
And we can also talk about, we haven’t really mentioned translators. So for instance Google Translate, think about how useful that’s been, especially for people in foreign countries who are learning another languages. Massive help.
Oh I have a lot to say about Google Translate. Cause, you know, I remember when I was working at school, I mean, secondary school and I was like kids, you’re gonna need English, English is the world language. What if you travel? What if you meet somebody form another country?
They said so what? I have Google translate. I’m like so you picture it like that – somebody talks to you and you’re like wait, so you open Google translate, just, you know, shove the phone into their face like now talk. No, it’s gonna be rude and unnatural. But in general yes, Google Translate can be helpful.
To a certain extent. Yes.
It cannot decide for a different context, that’s the.. Well, because it’s still not mature, it’s… Well it’s advance, but it’s not quite as advanced as it will be potentially be.
So we were talking about our tools and tools are to be used, and they’re not to take over our whole life. So tools are… We don’t depend on them for every little emotional thing, but yeah, we need some things.
And then of course it’s the convenience of things, just like you said, shortcut. Its just convenient. When we were talking about the older people being able to get things done from their home when they’re not so mobile anymore.
Yeah. I would also say that one of the bigger benefits right now, well, apart from making our life easier and more convenient and everything, is keeping us healthy. Because AI is widely used in medical area. So one of the examples is with breast cancer screening.
Cause averagely from 10 to 20% of patients are misdiagnosed with, well, misdiagnosed. So they are said thy don’t’ have breast cancer when they do. And now at MIT they’re working on a more accurate technique that will help to improve the screening up to like 100% accuracy.
Well, 98% accuracy they say, cause they still, you know, allow some inaccuracies to happen. But now it’s only, well, 80% at best. So and then have you ever heard about Da Vinci? As in AI-driven tool?
To be honest, no, I only know Da Vinci video editing software. Maybe it’s connected.
Oh there’s a video… Da Vinci in a medical area is AI-driven device helps to perform surgeries, well, non-invasive surgeries that help to treat cancer on its, you know, first or even zero stage when it’s not even become…
Yes. So when it’s not really as dangerous, so and it’s really non… Well almost non-invasive, so you don’t have to cut the person, just go throughout. It’s tiny, it’s operated by a surgeon in another room thanks to, you know, all these screens and arms. So yeah.
Magnified screens, so they can see better and remotely.
So this Da Vinci hand, as far as I understand, it’s a tiny needle and a hand with different scalpels and whatnot on it. And I watched the video how they even tie, you know, the knots after performing a surgery with these hands. It’s fascinating!
I’ve seen, yeah, I’ve seen little clips of such things.
And thanks to that also, the amount of people who will never get, you know, fully grown cancer let’s say, who will live happily for years and years is growing and that’s fantastic. Now in Russia we have, if I’m not mistaken, 14 of these machines. And that’s amazing, so if they become even more advanced, who knows?
Yeah that reminds me of this article that I was reading about South Korea again. Where they were talking about this incredible advanced technology and the need for skilled people. In South Korea they have established a lot of universities for this kind of study, so you can prepare people to actually do this work.
I was watching a funny show. I think it was Люди, you know the Люди, it’s a famous Russian Youtube channel which also has English language materials. And I believe it was this channel and they were talking about these Japanese toilets seats in South Korea, you know these automated toilet seats.
Oh you have 15 buttons and you have to know which one is for which.
Yeah. And I think now they have an AI version of it or something like that. It was pretty interesting.
AI is everywhere. And then have you seen the, oh I think it was released in 2020, the new book by Dan Brown, Origin?
Oh I don’t know this one.
So I think it came out in like 2020 and it describes a super computer in Barcelona, Spain, which actually exists. And it’s called Mare Nostrum. So it really exists in Barcelona, Spain, it’s a supercomputer which in Dan Brown’s book is used, you know, for evil things and everything.
But in real life it is used for analyzing huge quantities of genomic data, because we know not much, you know, of how our body works very often on, you know, on this genomic level. But thanks to this supercomputer scientists now are able to analyze it.
Then this Mare Nostrum supercomputer is used to find out how cancer affects our body. And they say that it will be able to be used to develop protein drug models that will lead to personalized medical treatment based on each patient’s needs.
So is it like a kind of quantum computer or one of those things?
So and they say that this… Well they put a lot of hope on it to cure cancer, cause you know, a lot of scientists and medical workers, they say that the only way that in the future we will cure cancer is on individualized treatment, so when some certain drugs or something will be created specifically for each person, taking everything into account. And they say this Mare Nostrum will be able to do just that.
That reminds me of something that I saw regarding heredity. And this analyzation was going on but they couldn’t… they didn’t have the technology at the time to actually analyze this stuff. So there’s this way that our DNA can be analyzed and it will tell us what diseases we could have at what age and even when die.
You know, maybe not that advanced, but I took a test like that and I’m really happy that I did because it turned out that I… If I didn’t do anything, my heart would stop at the age of around 30-31. So and thanks to a test like that, I’m now taking certain medication thanks to which I will live.
Cause, you know, the realization that I might die by the age of 30 which is not too far away, was really scary. So I’m like thank god these technologies exist. Otherwise I would just add to the statistics of people gone before they turned 30. Wow.
Okay so we have this great technology but then we need these great people to be able to analyze this.
That’s… That’s… Yes. Well, that’s why they say, you know how they say that people who have children, so by the time their children are grown up, they will study… Well while they are at school they will study for professions that will not even exist in the future, so we need to adapt very fast, to teach people how to deal with all this AI-driven world.
And I think the kids are doing quite well, yeah.
Cause there’s always this joke, you might see on meme or something of yeah, I needed to learn how to do this, so I went to my 5-year-old and she was able to help me out. How these kids just now how to push buttons and everything.
It’s in their genes, in their DNA I think.
Can you touch type Barbara? Do you know how to type?
Oh yes, I know how to really type.
We had typewriters before computers. So yes I know how to type.
It’s quite a.. Well, how did you learn? Tell us.
Well I went to a typing class.
Oh great. Was that at a specific school or did you just…?
We always had this typing class course that we had to take at high school.. And I took a summer, so yeah, typing class. And I was trying to teach my daughter how to really type and yeah, it didn’t work.
Yeah. I was… My mom forced me to go to this week long course and I hated…
Typing on a typing machine?
Not on a typing machine but on a keyboard and at first I hated it, I thought this was a horrible thing. There was this old lady who was really…
You mean keyboard, like a usual keyboard of a computer?
Yeah, a normal keyboard. So now I can touch type.
My mom forced me to do it. And this old lady was… She would reward you with candy if you touch typed within a certain amount of time. But if you didn’t do it, she would get really angry.
Yeah. But this was on… You have to learn differently on a computer keyboard from a typewriter, because a typewriter.
You can’t make a mistake.
Well on a typewriter you click it and you can’t… If you press it down, it won’t go trrrr all the way through, you have to go A-A, that’s how we learned: A-A-A, S-S-S.
Yeah. D… Yeah at cetera, yeah.
But you can do that on a keyboard because if you do that… Well you can’t…
You push it, yeah. You keep it on, it’ll go go on on on.
So I made a way where I made up short words for my daughter to learn how to type. It was quite successful.
Aww. You know it’s interesting cause when I was growing up in Yakutia, in my 6th grade I think, so when I was like 11-12, we got computers, like our school got computers. We were very excited, cause you know, computers. So and the whole year we were taught how to type. So we had those programs for like blind typing, so we would look on a screen and just type type type.
And then later my mom and I, we would, you know, work by typing things. People would bring us, you know, piles of paper of their thesis or something, written by hand and we would type that. And we had to do that fast, cause, you know, these people had deadlines and that’s how we earned some money. So and that’s why I type really fast.
Yeah, they would measure by how many words a minute can you type. Do you remember how many words?
Recently I actually checked it, but I also had very long nails, so and now that I Have shorter nails that would be faster. Yeah, I think it was around 500 words per minute. 500 signs per minute. I think it’s like symbols.
Back then it was words, meaning that 5 symbols equaled one word.
Yeah I think it was like 500 symbols per minute. And then 400 something symbols per minute in Russian. Which was funny, like, so now I type in English faster than I do in Russian.
That’s because Russians have long words.
Maybe that’s because I type the scripts for the podcasts, I think. You know, more than one year of doing that. Couldn’t but affect it.
Yeah it’s quite a long task actually. How long does it take you to, on average?
Well, if we exclude the timing, I would say around 4 hours for a podcast.
Yeah, that’s quite a long time. So this is where AI can help maybe some day.
Yeah, so if at some point there is a program advanced enough, you know, to put everything. Cause you know, there are programs now where you could download or upload something, you know, the sound and you get the script of it.
But it does not take into account slang, you know, these umms, the pause fillers and everything, interruptions. So and accent. If it’s not, you know, an RP, no, very often you would have just a set of sounds, which is not even a word or, you know, it shows a word that is not there.
So yeah, I really hope that these programs will be developed and advanced more. And then speaking of AI, what about driverless cars?
I think there are some that exist.
Tesla. Have you tried it Barbara?
I just read an article saying that there was this big crash and now they have to re-examine things.
Really? So what do you think about driverless cars? Do you think it will become a norm or it will keep, you know, being something for the…?
We almost had similar topics, you know, manual transmission cars. The manual transmissions have been phased out over the years. Of course they still exist, but car companies are not building them anymore.
And it kind of, well, coming back to driverless cars, it kinda takes the fun out of driving, driving’s supposed to be something that you’re enjoying.
Right, because you’re in control of your car.
I don’t know, I think I would enjoy driverless cars so much, because I’m not a driver. I don’t know how to drive. I’m scared of driving, especially here in Novosibirsk cause the drivers seem to be very aggressive.
Yeah, they are pretty aggressive, yeah.
Well there’s two kinds of driving, when you’re out at the open highway across country and then this commuter kind of thing. So you probably don’t wanna get into the traffic as you’re not efficient with that, so a driverless car might be something you’re interested in.
I don’t know. But even know I think AI is used in our cars cause let’s say my sister’s car it has this function – if she’s getting too close to something, like ahead, the car might stop. Then especially if it’s like, you know, you come close to something too fast, you know, on a speed.
Then it also has the function, oh I don’t remember how it’s called, but let’s say she can set the speed of let’s say 80 kph, just not even touch the wheel, it’ll control itself, it will just go, you know, straight ahead.
Cruise control, yeah! That’s what it is, yes. So and I think this is AI cause it analyses the situation.
Right, I couldn’t buy a car without cruise control because of my commuting, so it definitely had cruise control. But as soon as you touch the pedal, it’s going to unlock. But what does it do to our critical thinking skills? Our ability to decide things, I think that’s a detriment.
Yeah, I definitely agree with you there. It’s… Cause our brain is a muscle and it needs to be exercised in many… As much as possible.
Right, we need to exercise our reasoning and learn how to do better. But if you just get lazy and say, well, the car will do it, Google will do it, this will do it.
That’s a good point, that’s a good point. You know, I think that could be the first point in our negative sides of AI and potential dangers of AI. So people becoming lazier might be the first one, especially the drivers. So what else do you think can be named as potential dangers of AI? Why don’t some people trust the AI?
Well for instance if you get those scam calls from, I think they are… I’m not sure if mafia’s the right word but from organized criminal organizations who harvest your voice.
They get to try to… They try to prompt you to say the word yes and My name is this, in order to access your banking details.
Even in Russia, yeah, they call you and they’re like Is that this person? You’re like Mmhm. Yes or no? You’re like Mmhm. But yes or no? You’re like yup yup yup yup yup yup yup yup. So they want you to say yes. So and that’s why, so I told my mom. Because now, you know, this scamming is out of control I think.
I told her never to say yes or no or your full name. Just say something like yup or, let’s say, ‘You are not wrong’, or ‘You are correct’. Something like that that they cannot use.
Yeah the danger, I guess, is mostly to your financial security.
Especially since society is moving away from cash.
Yeah it’s getting, it is getting out of control.
And of course there are benefits to not having cash with you all the time, but also the big downside is who knows what can happen in the future?
Well that’s why they say that now you can’t have just one account, bank account. You always have to have, you know, some money on a separate account or several cards. And that’s also, you know, it’s so tiring I would say. Cause let’s say when I… Just a couple of days ago I was using Airbnb cause I booked…
I bought tickets to Saint Petersburg for the end of August for my holiday. And I was paying for my Airbnb housing and I thought okay, they do not, you know, send you any kind of verification code, so they just take the money out of your bank account, so no code to put in, no bank security system. Nothing!
So I’m like, I might use this card, but wait, but this card has a little bit more money on it, so if somebody hacks it, I’ll lose way more. Okay, I’ll use this card cause then if somebody, you know, hacks it and takes all my money from it, well, I can handle that. And the very idea that you have to think about that all the time is…
You know the word ‘schlepp’?
What kind of schlepping around, like this?
Yeah, yeah, exactly, it’s a strong word.
I love the word schlepp. Schlepp.
I thought you were saying schlepp with an e. Schlapp or schlepp?
No, schlepp with an e, yeah. Yeah it’s a schlepp.
I think we use it differently though. Schlepp is like childsing around, just…
A heavy movement, so schlepp is a struggle to do.
Yeah it’s used quite a lot in, yeah, American…
I don’t know about our listeners, but I definitely learned something new right now. Oh, I didn’t know this word, that’s cool.
Yeah, it’s actually, yeah, it’s Yiddish, it’s Yiddish slang.
If you watch… Have you ever watched Curb your Enthusiasm?
In that show, yeah, they used that word a few times. Yeah.
I see. It’s kind of an old word though, it’s not a mainstream. It’s kind of like an old fashioned.
But I love the way it sounds. We should make it mainstream, for the sake of the sound.
When we were talking about the lazy mind, that is connected to trying to teach kids or trying to teach people, cause people are getting to be lazy in their mind. It’s very difficult, it’s very difficult.
I think in our job as language teachers it is seen more than in any other.
Because do you know the great value of writing things out, these eyes, mind, hand, paper. And you’re supposed to write things out, so okay everybody we need to write this out, click click click. I’ll take a picture. Okay, that’s convenient, but… And then I try to explain to them eyes-brain connection between it. And they don’t care. Yeah. It makes it very difficult, teaching.
It is, it is. That’s true. That’s sad. And you know how they say, well let’s say, you explain some kind of a subject, no matter what kind of a teacher you are, what subject you teach. You’re like okay, you an write it down, you have to memorize that. And kids just nowadays just say why? Why do we have to memorize it if we can Google it? What’s the point?
Yeah and when I read which was a really good response to that is you really don’t know anything unless you can, you know, pull it out from your brain without googling. If you have to stop a conversation to Google – you don’t know. You don’t know the topic, you don’t know it.
But at the same time if you google, you’re gonna forget it the minute you, you know, turn off your phone. But I remember when I was a kid and we had some kind of, you know, debate. For example, hat about that? Where do lions live? Do they live in that part too?
We would go and get the encyclopedia, we had like five different books. You know, find the right page, read it out loud for everyone to hear. And then it would stick cause it took effort, you know, to find this information, not just google, i=okay.
Yeah I remember being a little kid when I had to do a school project when, let’s say, I was 9 years old. And we’d have to go through the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Recitation! Actually, from your memory. And I think this is… We’ve gone away form that because people wanna be creative in their teaching which is completely fine, but don’t forget that you have to memorize things. You have to sit there and say it over and over and repeat it and repeat it. I try to do that with my students. It’s hard.
For instance if I say okay, the vowels are a, e, i, o, u and sometime y. A, E, I, O, U and sometime Y. I make them go fast, faster than that, faster than that. Cause I want it in their brain. Or I’ll test them on parts of speech, parts of speech. A noun. What is a noun?
A noun is a person, place or thing. You just say exactly, a noun is a person, place or thing, exactly like that. Cause I learned that as a kid and it was, you know, pushed into our brains, reciting it.
Yeah the regimented style of learning, yeah. I had a student who had trouble remembering the word fire extinguisher and I said… I would make him say fire extinguisher, fire extinguisher, fire extinguisher,.
Write it down 50 times, you’re never gonna forget it.
Or imagery. Yeah, that reminds me of a student who didn’t know how to spell license with a c. And so I told her how I always remembered how to spell license with a C and not with an S.
I actually have this problem sometimes.
Oh no, well, I don’t. And the reason is I googled a picture of lice, cause I think of lice. And so you have to think of lice and so, you know, microscopic image of a lice’s face will definitely make you remember. So you’ll never forget how to spell lice.
Yeah it’s like mnemonic technique I think, when you have some kind of association.
Yeah, a picture, an image.
Something like that. We used that a lot when we were… Well, I mean when I was a student, so my roommates and I, we used this technique a lot cause we had to memorize hundreds of words, you know, learning English language. So yeah. Alright.
And you know, speaking of potential dangers of AI, so I was recently watching a video which was an old interview with Elon Musk at one of the tech conferences in Austin, Texas in 2018. And I wanna quote what he said cause if that guy says it, we should be definitely worried.
Cause in March 2018 he said mark my words, AI is far more dangerous than nukes. I’m really quite close to the cutting edge in AI and it’s scares the hell out of me he says. It’s capable of vastly more than almost anyone knows and the rate of improvement is exponential. And that is scary.
This guy knows what he’s talking about, you know. And if he says that it’s scary, it’s scary. And one of the points of potential danger apart from what we have mentioned is also said to be automated weapons, so what do you know/think about that?
Well, among other things. It’s like they say that AI will be in control of, let’s say, when to launch different nuclear weapons or biological weapons and in general that the weapons will have a different structure maybe. So that everything will be controlled through computers, so it’s like they say that new types of weapons will appear. So which is going to be as they say the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow.
So are you talking about rogue countries or state that have some kind of…
So I believe if a Prime Minister or a President were to engage in nuclear weapons, you have to have a special code…
I mean of course the details are not there yet, but they say that if anything like that is being developed, if any country, you know, starts using AI-controlled weapons or something like that… When people don’t have to be in the, what is it, like military planes, launching the rockets, it can be all automated. It will start the arms race that… the AI-powdered arms race.
I just don’t see a state allowing that, I just don’t see that. Because they know the dangers. I’m talking about the United States.
They do, but what it takes sometimes is one person acting dumb. Remember the situation when everyone was afraid that if North Korea starts it, then it’s just gonna all, you know, start the third world war. Like last year it was? The beginning of the year.
Well a slightly different topic. It just came to my mind – 3D printers. And I remember watching about people who printed handguns from…
I think we can combine all of that. Cause if that appears somewhere inside the country’s at some point, at some point it’s inevitably going to appear at the black market.
I can see that happening in a rogue country. But as far as the United States and the civilized countries, that have been established for a while, I just don’t see that that would be allowed to do that. Cause we know that we have to use our reason.
So let’s hope that this is a potential danger that will never come to life.
Well with rogue countries yeah, it’s a potential danger. Definitely, yeah. Because if you’ve got nuclear power then you’ve got the power. Or at least you will wield your power in threatening with it.
Okay. And what about the more common problem that the AI might cause, which is job loss. Cause a lot of people say oh, with the advancement of different robots, I’m gonna lose my job and they’re gonna steal our jobs. We’re not gonna have anything to do, we’ll be poor and homeless and everything. What do you think about that?
I think then they would have to get other kinds of skills of fixing these robots and things. So I don’t think that would be…
So, let’s think – what jobs you think will be replaced by machines, by AI?
Well I did a course in translation at university, the introduction to professional translation and essentially the argument was put forward that translation jobs will not necessarily disappear. At least within the next 30 years or 20 years or so.
Because as we have previously covered, there’s only nuances to dialects, slang et cetera. So if we just look at the area of translation, that will not necessarily be affected. Perhaps that could be reflected in other industries, but if you look at supermarkets, we have self-checkouts, which are… I’m not sure if that’s AI, but it is kinda of AI.
So yeah I guess it is taking a toll on careers.
So what other professions do you think are in danger of being replaced by robots and AI?
Like car manufacturing I think.
Yeah physical things, so for instance, I don’t know, luggage porters, stuff like that, at airports maybe. Yeah. Jobs like this.
Especially something that requires, you know, a lot of physical strength, cause you know, people have always been looking for ways to not do that. Rather, you know, to control the machine rather than, you know, work themselves. Cause that’s difficult.
When I was working in a hotel in Las Vegas, we had these self check-in machines and I had to assist people with these self check-in machines and I was… As I was using them I was thinking, I’m helping people and my job here.
Yeah, speaking of Las Vegas, I remember there is a bar with no bartenders, but it’s all, you know, automated hands and everything, and you just push some buttons, pay with your card. And you can see these hands just, you know, mixing a drink for you.
Oh I think they have these in South Korea as well. Coming back to South Korea.
Speaking of translation as well – we had a course in translation at my university. And I remember our professor asking like how many of you guys watch The Big Bang Theory? So and quite a few people raised their hands. And he was like do you watch it in translation or in the original?
We said in translation cause there is one translation agency that does an amazing job. The way they translate all the jokes is fantastic, they are gods, really. So and our professor has said – as long as there are people like this agency, which is called Кураж Бомбей, the translators are never gonna be replaced by AI. Cause the way, you know, the way they translate humor is impossible to be done by a machine.
Yeah we have a saying lost in the translation.
Yeah there’s no such thing as 100% verifiable translation.
Something is funny to you in Russian, I’m like what? I don’t understand.
Yeah cause there’s a lot of anecdotes. Анекдоты as they are called in…
Yeah so certain things are based on play on words.
So and speaking of jobs, so Brookings Institution which is the place that studies the AI, so they issued some kind of a report in 2019 and according to this, 36 million people work in jobs with high exposure to automation, meaning that before long at least 70% of their task will be automated and they will no longer be needed.
And that ranges from retail sales, as Ben has mentioned, market analysis, to hospitality and warehouse labor as, again, we have mentioned. So yeah, and that all can be done with AI. Have you seen some of the videos actually of Boston Dynamics?
Oh god, check them out. Cause they regularly post things about their robots and how they can do tasks, like, you know, loading things, transporting goods. Cleaning, cause they have videos of like robots going through an office, seeing a dirty dish and just taking it to a dishwasher.
And if it’s a can, then it goes to recycling. So you know, and they teach the robots to do all these things. So not controlled by a person but just programmed to do things like that.
So what about cleaning? Don’t you feel good to clean your house? I mean don’t you feel pure after you’ve done it?
Yeah. And also, coming back to technology of cleaning – dishwashers, they never properly clean dishes.
Yeah I don’t use a dishwasher, not just because I don’t have one, but because I actually would prefer not.
You know, if at some point there is a machine that cleans everything for me, I would be the first in line.
I hate cleaning. Hate it.
I think cleaning kind of reflects what’s in your mind when you clean your house.
I do totally agree with that.
Yeah, then you probably were like I was. Before you write a major paper in college, you have to clean your house, get all organized.
I usually… I did that while I was writing a paper cause then I would, you know, get distracted like I suddenly feel the urge to was the floors rather than write this paper.
But I honestly, I wash, I clean, but I just hate it.
I mean I feel accomplished after I clean my house.
I do too! I feel so good. Look what I’ve done everybody.
I like… Honestly, no, I’m on the other side. If a machine can do that, I’ll let that do that. But just a couple of days ago, the second season of Love, Death and Robots came out. Have you ever heard about it?
Oh god, check this out. It’ cartoon, but each episode is separate, so you know, it’s a separate story, and they’re like from 10 to 20 minutes long. And one of the episodes in the second season was about a Roomba... Well, a cleaning robot, like a vacuum bot it was called.
And it just, you know, it went nuts and at some point it tried to kill the dog. And then, you know, it analyzed the situation and saw a person as a danger and tried to kill the person.
And I just looked at it and I told my fiancée like, remind me never to get one, even though I’m very tempted to. Like, who knows? So and actually we mentioned Black Mirror as the tv show about all that. So, if anyone is interested, check out Love, Death and Robots as well.
So it has two seasons, each episode is around 10 minutes, it’s cartoons. Also shows, you know, potential dangers of AI and robots and everything.
Did you say it is on Netflix?
And they’re not cartoons for children, cartoons…
Oh god, no no no no no, 18+. A lot of blood in a lot of episodes. Like, no. Explicit content, gory episodes, all that. So, no children are allowed anywhere, anywhere close. Yeah. But what jobs do you think will never be replaced by a machine?
Teaching. I don’t care how people say that they’re self taught and everything. I just think that being motivated by a teacher having some kind of, what is it? Connection, yeah. I don’t think.
I’m trying to think, right. I guess medical profession, I mean, if… I guess it’s a very nuanced profession that you can’t just go to a self-check machine. Well, you have an option…
Although there is now a device that with 90% accuracy can diagnose eye diseases.
It’s only eye diseases so far. But 90% accuracy, just think about it, it’s fantastic. But yeah, I think surgeons.
Yeah, but it’s still a tool, right. Because then you need somebody to do the surgery, you’d have to…
Yeah, but at least, you know, it is smart enough to diagnose, so you don’t have to make an appointment, you know, which will be in 3 months, for example, wait for it, go to a doctor. So yeah. But I agree. Some of the medical workers will never be replaced, like surgeons. Any other professions?
Well you’re talking about profession that will never be… In history, in future will never ever be…
Well we can’t be sure about never ever, but let’s say within the next 100 years maybe, a 100 something years, cause…
I was gonna say sommelier, I guess. But I guess a machine can eventually be fine tuned to detect different nuances in wines I guess. I don’t know.
Which will make a lot of wine tasters, you know, very sad.
I guess eventually that… yeah. I guess eventually computers can be programmed.
Although, you know… That’s interesting cause this profession is not about, you know, telling you what kind of nuances there are in wine, but it’s more about communication with a person.
The joy of discussing this wine with somebody.
And holding the glass by the… Not by the stem, but by the body of the glass. I’m doing this.
And the same… As you have mentioned, teachers. Of course you can get self-taught, of course you can do things with apps. But how many students do we have now who actually come to class? Even if it’s online class just to talk to a person, to discuss different things.
To tell you a story, things like that. And kids! I can never imagine kids learning with a robot or something like that.
Yeah, that’s true. One of the most crucial parts of learning a language is speaking and getting words off your chest and formulating sentences spontaneously.
Yeah, spontaneously. And our body movements as well.
Yeah exactly and being able to read facial cues and things like that, yeah.
And I’ve just remember that we have talked a lot about how AI can be used in medical area and about this breast cancer screening and about eye diseases diagnose. If anyone is interested, you can check out, you can find it online, National Geographic issue 2019, issue #1 from January.
The whole of the issue was devoted to AI in medicine. And I remember reading it – I was shocked as to how much, you know, medical area has developed. Cause there are now, and they wrote about 3D printing organs, transplanting things.
Creating eyes, you know, so when a person has something wrong, they can have their eyes implanted. You know, that they would have the same sensitivity as a real eye. And it’s just wow! So, National Geographic, 2019, issue 1. And if you are from Novosibirsk, you can borrow it from the local library for free.
So. Yay! Alright, so and what about all these dystopian scenarios where all the robots, they go rogue and they destroy the humanity or, you know…
Well that remind… Do you remember the tv show the Jacksons?
I have never watched it, what is it?
Yeah, humanity in the 60s, it’s a space age family, and they have robots and everything that you need to get done as a task, like putting on shoes or whatever, you have a kind of robot to do it.
Which year… I don’t know which year were they depicting, was it…
They were depicting… Yeah, the future, yeah. What year in the future… Yeah, that’s interesting.
Cause in the 60s, or I guess the 90s, people would always depict our current days having flying cars and that hasn’t happened. Of course if you were in the 60d and you were dropped into 2021, of course…
They would still be shocked.
That movie, 21 Space Odyssey, what is it?
I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never watched it.
Yeah, some movie, I can’t remember. I think it was made in the 1970s. And this were the year 2000, I think they year 2000. This was a special year.
So do you think it’s possible that this rise of the machines will happen?
Well, it comes down to the inventors of the machines.
Does it though? Cause they’re now working on AI being able to feel. Like so that the robots, well, not the robots, they don’t’ want to call them the robots, but the AI people that they will have emotions, that they’ll be able to feel and they will have rights just as an ordinary human person. So, who knows. At some point they might get out of control.
Yeah, I mean this is always the potential for them, sure.
Have you ever watched Westworld?
Cause Westworld is a tv show which shows a theme park where, well, where there are robots that look like people, act like people. And you can never, you know, tell them apart from real people and this theme park helps, well, not helps, but allows rich people to basically make any of their vices possible.
You wanna kill – you can do that here. You know, it’s all the killing, the raping, all of that. Because, you know, they’re robots. Then the setting, you know, is changed and tadam, they’re all good to be used again. So and in that tv show the robots, well, some of them they start to realize that they are not real people.
That their, you know, memories are not real. That they have fake memories. And they go against the humans, you know, for creating them, for just being used for killing and for everything. And that’s a really scary tv show, but it also, you know, gives you so much food for thought. So if you ever wanna watch it, Westworld.
I think I have a little bit more faith in humanity that I really think that it wouldn’t go that way. Because the only way it would go that way is if since it’s our nature to be power-hungry and greedy. Only if some were, a person were in power, in control of these reckless AI, yeah.
Cause we’re just… we’re engrained to be human, we’re not gonna allow something to have control over us, unless we can control it. One person could make it happen, yeah.
Let’s hope that if that happens… I hope that if that ever happens, I won’t be alive to see that, you know.
Well it kinda reminds me of having… There is this… Having toys that children learn responsibility like not a real dog, but then they take care of it like a real dog. Why not just give it a real dog to take care of it. I mean, that seems the kind of mentality, a step way from real humanity.
Oh wow. Alright, I now have some questions to the listeners. So, what do you guys think about all that? Do you have an optimistic view on the AI or a pessimistic view on one? And also, if you’re interested to hear more about different dystopias and the scenarios, you can check out the episode about dystopias which we had not long ago.
I think a month or two ago with Gary and Maria I think it was. So, alright. So, Barbara, Ben, so how would you summarize this episode for our listeners? Just in a few words.
Technology and how it affects our lives.
The pros and cons. Okay, is there anything that changed your view on AI or something new that you learned during the episode?
I wasn’t aware of how advanced all the medical things were.
I wasn’t aware of dystopia, I wasn’t aware that it was so prevalent that people are making up stories and… I had no idea.
Oh god, so many, so many. It seems to be one of the popular genres right now. Which also, you know, makes us think why? Alright, well thank you so much, that was the BigAppleSchool podcast and today we discussed artificial intelligence.
Thank you for listening and remember if you struggle to understand our conversation, you are always welcome to our website, which BigAppleSchool.com/podcast where you can find all of the episodes and all of the scripts for each episodes.
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Just search our name, which is, again, BigAppleSchool. So that was Katya and my guests for today were…
Stay tuned and we’ll see you around.
Yeah, so we’re talking… That’s what my point is. Are we talking about people who are licensed to do this or just the run-of-the-mill people? Are we talking about rogue countries? Or we’re talking about…?