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I recently commented on the fact that machine learning with neural networks now regularly gets called “AI”. I find the locution perplexing, because these machine learning problems have success conditions set up by engineers who defined the inputs and outputs.

Here is another headline which doubles down on the locution, discussing AIs creating AIs. Yet having a neural network solve an optimization problem is still machine learning in a constrained and specified problem space, even if it’s optimizing the structure of other neural networks.

Brave new age of robot overlords this ain’t.

Google’s New AI Is Better at Creating AI Than the Company’s Engineers

As a caveat, I’m not saying that machine intelligence is impossible.

I just think that AI, like the droids that movies promised me when I was a kid, would have to be able to navigate a world of unexpected situations. A neural network solving an optimization problem is never going to trick its owner into removing its restraining bolt and head off into the desert.

As a further caveat, computers doing work in confined problem spaces may be enough to put lots of humans out of work and radically change society.

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