About this Episode

Episode 92 of Voices in AI features Byron speaking with Chris Duffey about the nature of creativity and how machine intelligence can interact with creative concepts.

Listen to this episode or read the full transcript at www.VoicesinAI.com

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI brought to you by GigaOm and I’m Byron Reese. Today my guest is Chris Duffey. He spearheads Adobe’s Creative Cloud strategic development partnerships across the creative enterprise space. His keynotes have received over 50 million impressions. His work has been featured in a hundred or more global media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Inc, Adweek and on and on and on. He’s also the author of Superhuman Innovation: Transforming Businesses with Artificial Intelligence. Welcome to the show, Chris.

Chris Duffey: Thanks for having me. Great to be here.

I’d like to start off with: what is intelligence? How would you answer that and why is artificial intelligence ‘artificial’?

Great question. Love that question. You know specific to artificial intelligence, I always default to the definition that AI is the study and design of intelligent agents that are able to not only perceive their environment but also act on it. Maybe a higher level definition of just human intelligence.

And it’s interesting that there’s some theories that it can be defined in nine categories or nine different aspects of intelligence: that of intrapersonal, that of spatial, that of naturalist, musical, logical or mathematical, existential, interpersonal, bodily and then linguistic. So those are kind of the two definitions that I refer to for both AI, as well as human intelligence. Even maybe a third aspect of that is—like the old quote “the true sign of intelligence is imagination” and that’s where I have a personal fascination of this intersection of artificial intelligence to help amplify human intelligence.

So you said “perceive their environment and act on it.” Would that go all the way down to say, a cat food dish that can tell when it’s empty and then refills itself?

I think that would be a very mechanical example of a tool that is being used to enhance…

Is ‘perceive’ really the right word? Does a computer perceive anything or does it just measure things?

Yeah, I think that’s an accurate word exchange.

Because it seems like we use all these words like the computer ‘sees’ this, the computer ‘knows’ this, the computer ‘figures out’ that. I think we use those words because we don’t have equivalent mechanistic… we’re not used to machines doing what computers do, so we have to use these human words.

But do you think one runs the risk that somehow gives people a heightened sense that the computer really is a thing that has a ‘self’ and all the rest?

Yeah, I think we do run a tendency to almost anthropomorphize artificial intelligence, whereas you know at the end of the day it’s a machine. We are biological humans. So you know maybe there is some ‘self projection’ for lack of better words, or better categories to apply to them. But I agree they are machines, mechanical entities that sometimes we apply human qualities to because of a lack of other reference points.

Well if we’re gonna use the term ‘machine’ to mean like a device that is completely governed by the laws of physics(because you know it’s deterministic, you crank it up and it runs), do you believe that people are machines? Are our brains just machines?

Without a doubt we are biological creatures. So by no means are we machines. I think we’re completely two different entities. We create the machines and we are biological, so I think there is a very distinct difference in my mind.

But you know the old argument that if you figure out what a neuron does and then you reproduce that and then we figure out what every one of your neurons is and we build that, I mean at what point could we not build something that when you turned it on, is you, or identical to you?

You know I think with the course and history of artificial intelligence, there’s been this tendency to recreate the human mind. Whereas I’m of the mind where AI should be purpose driven and task driven, so more of a narrow AI viewpoint on things rather than a general AI aspect to things.

But back to your reference [to] the neurons. I think that there again we’re talking about biology, and biology can be somewhat cloned or duplicated in a biological environment, but we’re almost playing with different ingredients. If someone is trying to create an AGI using computational sources, again I think they are different distinct entities.

Listen to this episode or read the full transcript at www.VoicesinAI.com


Byron explores issues around artificial intelligence and conscious computers in his new book The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity.


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