Flip Chart Fairy Tales

Barely a day goes by now without a Robots Taking Jobs story. If that wasn’t bad enough, once they’ve taken all our jobs they will eventually take over the world. They might even wipe us out, though why they would bother to enslave us is beyond me.

All good clean entertainment but in most news pieces there is little or no attempt to explain terms like artificial intelligence and machine learning. As Matt Ballantine pointed out a few weeks ago, some of the robot stories are pure hype.

Imagery matters. Imagery shapes the agenda. And there’s a whole load of crap, clichéd stock imagery that time-pressed and underpaid online editors attach to their copy without really thinking.

So just what is artificial intelligence and can machines really learn?

There’s no generally agreed definition but there is a useful explanation of the various terms here, summarised below, which is a good…

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