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John and Leanne Yarrow: Artificial Intelligence vs humans

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

Twenty years ago, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated previously unbeaten chess grandmaster, Garry Kasparov. I think they cheated… well; they had a plan. Deep Blue didn’t have to worry about eating, headaches, sleeping, etc. But it did beat him.

Google’s AI beats the top Go (a 2,500-year-old game of complexity). AlphaGo matched its artificial wits against Fan Hui, Europe’s reigning Go champion, and the AI system went undefeated in five games.

Now Alibaba’s AI (with Microsoft) has bested humans in reading comprehension. The AI took the Stanford Question Answering Dataset test (Squad), a test that pulls from over 100,000 questions, and beat us humans. Granted, not by much, but still impressive that it won. The AI scored 82.44 and humans scored 82.304. A rounding error you say? LOL. I agree. Still, it beat us humans. What does this really mean?

The AI can read a paragraph and interpret the data and formulate answers based on questions posed to it. But does it really comprehend? I mean, sure, it answers data questions. But can it read for enjoyment? Does it understand that when Harry Potter is slinging spells with the dreaded Voldemort, that it should be on the edge of its seat with anticipation? Will Harry die, or will he defeat the evil sorcerer? Is the AI afraid for Harry? Has it bonded with the protagonist? Is the AI sad when it reads someone has died in a story? Does it get angry with indignation when a social travesty happens in a book? Can it infer a life lesson from what it is Reading?

Reading comprehension is so much more than answering who won the fight between Harry and Voldemort. It involves our feelings as well. And that, my friends, is something AI will never have… feelings.

Go AI! You beat us in reading comprehension! Woo-hoo! Not…

In my book, The Future’s Dark Past, I have Comperi, an AI system, helping our protagonist throughout the time dimensions. Can the two save the world from a devastating nuclear war?

Unfortunately, there is an evil AI helping the bad guys, too. It brings to mind several questions. But you’ll need to read the book first to find out!

The Future’s Dark Past comes out mid-February on Amazon and select bookstores. Keep checking back for updates!


About the Author...

John Yarrow, a lifelong Texan, dreams as big as he writes. Leanne Yarrow is her husband's collaborative partner. Their fascination with what could be imbues the couple's storytelling with fast-paced, futuristic worlds in which witty compelling characters struggle for an enduring humanity. John's background includes degrees in English, Education, and a MS in Cognitive Systems. He honed his skills in The Creation Factory Writer's Workshop, adapted a novella for National Public Radio, and published articles in educational and technology journals. Leanne draws from her careers in education and program development to help bring fresh insights, incredible imagery, and clarifying details to their work.



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