Brendan McKenzie

Trust - AI's roadblock to domination

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Artificial intelligence dominance is undoubtedly the future.

That might sound scary, but it will be what we make of it.

Minds may wander straight to the overthrow of our militaries and enslavement of our kind by robots, but that's not the dominance I am talking about. Although it's possible, it's not so probable. The level of AI required to achieve that is still a bit beyond our current grasp.

The AI I am referring to is more accurately referred to as ML - machine learning. Teaching a machine to do a repetitive task and then asking it to continue doing it, ad nauseam.

Tasks such as driving our cars, washing our clothes, laying bricks, or even performing surgery and running parliament.

These tasks don't take much in the way of creativity or active thought. These are learnt behaviours that have a set number of inputs and outputs - through those inputs and outputs may seem complex, they are finite and programmable.

Technologically speaking, most of these tasks are accomplishable by machines today, right now. The only thing standing in their way is the trust of the greater population.

As illogical as it seems if you really think about it - people trust people to drive cars more than they would trust a machine to. Even though machines don't get tired, can't get drunk, won't lose focus, and statistically will never perform worse than their human counterparts, people just don't trust them.

In 2019, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes


Thousands of deaths are caused by human drivers behind the wheel of vehicles annually, in the entire history of autonomous driving vehicles (up to 2020) there have been a total of 2 pedestrians killed - it's worth noting that the vehicles didn't perform worse than humans, it's understood that in the same instances the outcome would have been the same regardless of who/what was driving.

The more AI on the road and fewer humans, the safer we all will be. Not to mention the significant reduction in traffic and all the benefits that come with that, such as greenhouse gas emissions.