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Algorithm and blues: whose tune do we dance to?

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The Mint Magazine, June 2021

Artificial intelligence rarely gets it wrong – it’s the culture that programmed it that’s messed up, says Madhavi Venkatesan.

I have become accustomed to my smart phone alerting me in the morning of the time and distance to my standard destination. But last weekend, when my routine changed, my smartphone knew that I planned to cross state lines — even before I entered a new destination address into my GPS system.

A few years ago, a friend who is a consultant in Silicon Valley, noted to me that our smart technology was smarter than we understood. In fact, our pocket artificial intelligence (AI) communicates with our other electronic devices. AI shares information across Bluetooth or Wi-Fi networks. (Have you noticed how the passcodes stored on your home computer are available on your smartphone, even without synching?) He pointed that the combination of learning algorithms and around the clock thinking mean that AI is constantly gathering information which it then processes relative to its programming.

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