The New York TimesThe New York Times

'Human beings are soon going to be eclipsed'

By David Brooks

14 Jul 2023 · 6 min read

informed Summary

  1. Cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter has changed his stance on AI and deep learning. He now believes that AI is developing consciousness and that humanity will soon be eclipsed by AI.

Recently I stumbled across an essay by Douglas Hofstadter that made me happy. Hofstadter is an eminent cognitive scientist and the author of books like “Gödel, Escher, Bach” and “I Am a Strange Loop.” The essay that pleased me so much, called “The Shallowness of Google Translate,” was published in The Atlantic in January of 2018.

Back then, Hofstadter argued that AI translation tools might be really good at some pedestrian tasks, but they weren’t close to replicating the creative and subtle abilities of a human translator. “It’s all about ultrarapid processing of pieces of text, not about thinking or imagining or remembering or understanding. It doesn’t even know that words stand for things,” he wrote.

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