What Happens When The Machines Don’t Need Us Anymore?

Are we relinquishing our power when we teach machines, instead of programming them?
(Alex Williamson / Getty)
Published in The Takeaway

May 18, 2016From and

“If you control the code, you control the world,” security adviser Marc Goodman said in a 2012 a TED Talk. But what happens when humans no longer control the code?

Today, coding — that thing that got millions of people seeking foolproof Silicon Valley jobs to enroll in boot camps — is being supplanted by something called “machine learning.”

With traditional coding, an engineer writes specific instructions for a computer program to follow. But in machine learning, the programmer “trains” the program to do its job by feeding it a bunch of data. Extremely complicated equations take care of the rest.

But even the programmers don’t totally understand how this process works. Are we relinquishing our power when we teach machines, instead of programming them?

Jason Tanz, editor-at-large for WIRED magazine, took a deep dive into machine learning for the publication’s June cover story,”The End of Code and Future of AI.

How is growing connectivity changing the way we live? And how will the choices we make be enhanced or restricted as computers outperform humans?

These are questions that Joshua Cooper Ramo has spent years examining. He’s the author of “The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune and Survival in the Age of Networks.”

Today we’re asking you to fill in the blanks: “Life was better before _____ because _____.” Check out the conversation on Anchor and add your voice.

Global Climate Change
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