I enjoyed this interview with robotics professor Rodney Brooks on EconTalk. The conversation around AI and automation in the popular conversation is so charged, it’s good to hear a perspective that brings some reason into the discussion. The collective conversation on the subject of AI, driverless vehicles, and other forms of automation leans toward “it’ll be here tomorrow” or “we’ll never have any automation.” I think there’s too much pessimism in the former view, and too little optimism in the latter.
Brooks (who has spent his entire career on robotics and intelligence, currently at MIT) brings some reason to the subject — that the truth is somewhere in between. He puts it best talking about how your average “expert” views the future of technology development:
“We tend to overestimate impacts in the short term, and underestimate them in the long term.”