Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a central issue in contemporary society. Although everyone seems to talk about it, not everyone understands what it really is and how it works.

This guide, inspired by Melissa Heikkilä’s original article in MIT Technology Review , is designed to help you talk about AI with confidence.

1. Don’t be afraid of appearing uninformed.

AI is a complex topic that even experts can have a hard time explaining in an accessible way. The tech industry is full of jargon that can be confusing, so if you find yourself lost, don’t feel bad. There are many resources on the internet, such as explanatory videos on YouTube, that can help you understand better.

2. Define the type of AI you are talking about

Artificial intelligence is a general term that encompasses a wide range of technologies. When you talk about AI, specify if you mean natural language processing, computer vision, chatbots, AI in medicine, among others. Talking about AI in general terms can obscure the reality of how the technology works.

3. Focus the conversation on reality

It’s easy to get distracted by the future possibilities and long-term risks of AI. However, it is more constructive to focus the conversation on what technology can now do and how it does it. Be wary of claims that seem more like science fiction than reality.

4. Manage your expectations

The language models that feed AI chatbots, such as ChatGPT, can generate information that is not entirely accurate. They are not search engines, but predictive systems that generate the most probable words based on your question and the data with which they have been trained.

5. Avoid anthropomorphizing the AI

AI chatbots may give the illusion of human interaction, but they are nothing more than computer programs. They do not possess emotions or consciousness, and attributing human characteristics to them can lead to misunderstandings about their real capabilities.

6. Consider the role of power in AI

When talking about AI, it’s important to consider who has access to the technology and how that influence is used. AI development is a highly political process, influenced by the people with access to the resources.

7. Don’t reduce AI to robots

Although robots may be the most visible face of AI, there is much more to the field than just robots. AI includes algorithms and technologies that work in the background.

Artificial intelligence is a complex and constantly evolving technology. It’s important to talk about her in an informed and nuanced way. At the same time, it is essential to remember that AI is far from a silver bullet for all problems and has its own limitations and ethical challenges.


by Abdullah Sam
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