You’re right to be afraid of being replaced: WGS

By Sheena Amos

DUBAI 12 February 2019: People are right to be wary of being replaced by intelligent, fact-driven artificial intelligence (AI) machines, warned Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at the Woodrow Wilson School, in a hard-hitting talk at the seventh World Government Summit (WGS 2019).

Speaking on AI and its impact on society, Kahneman told the audience that it is difficult to imagine that with sufficient data, there will remain things that only humans can do, and not machines.

“No one wants to accept that machines will be better than humans in everything,” he said, adding that no human will be able to acquire the same volume of information that robots can by simply tapping into a system that 1,000 other robots constantly feed into.

Think It Through

When asked about the most important piece of advice he could give, the winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on the psychology of judgement, decision-making and behavioral economics said: “Disciplined thinking means delaying intuition until you have all the facts and have objectively thought about the facts.”

He added: “Subjective self-confidence that comes with intuition is not to be trusted. The correlation between confidence and accuracy is not very high,” said Kahneman in his session, ‘The Art and Science of Decision-Making’. He added that expert intuition can only be developed if two conditions are met – when there is regularity within the system and rapid feedback on the quality of decisions for one to learn.

“If a system is regular enough, people then need an opportunity to learn and acquire the regularities. That’s how you develop intuition in chess,” he said. “People on Wall Street who say they have intuition are lying to themselves because the system is just not predictable enough to sustain intuition.”

Practice is not Perfect

Contrary to the belief that practice makes perfect, Kahneman argues that in decision-making, “practice makes people more confident, even when it does not make them more accurate.”

The three-day World Government Summit 2019 runs until February 12 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event has convened more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 30 international organizations.


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