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Robot can never replace a human

Published 28/03/2016

WHEN Alan Turing, the father of modern computing, invented the Turing test in 1950 to test a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour indistinguishable from a human, he probably didn't envisage an artificial intelligence (AI) chat robot being taught to swear and espouse racist propaganda by Twitter users within 24 hours of going live.

However, that's exactly what happened recently when Tay, a robot developed by Microsoft, had to be taken down because the software firm said it was "making some adjustments".

Tay is only a small part of the wider growth in the trend for business automation software. Digital transformation is increasingly putting pressure on companies to sacrifice the human element of business to make digital services available, creating fears that robots will take our jobs.

Businesses should remember that automation software should enhance human interaction, not replace it. Passing the Turing test is great, but not if it fails to enhance relationships between people.

STEPHEN PARKER

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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