Artificial intelligence, algorithms based on machine learning, have turned our lives into one of efficiency where failure doesn’t exist anymore.
For algorithms an error doesn’t exist ; it’s just a prediction that hasn’t worked because of missing data points. This statistical “accident” will be taken into account to improve predictions a step further.
In the field of algorithmic governance failure is not an option anymore. This is very dangerous. Actually I think it’s one of the most frightening thing that may have happened in the last decade or so; yet nobody seems to pay attention. Nobody seems to understand that the consequences may be terrible.
Failure is at the heart of learning. “You learn from failure” the proverb says and there is nothing more true than this. Toddlers learn walking from repeatedly falling on the ground; the most memorable life lessons are those who created some harm or were difficult to withstand emotionally. The achievements you’re the most proud of are those which were difficult to complete : a difficult exam, a sport competition. Eventually what you remember, the most persistent memories and the most important bits of knowledge, are those which you acquired at a cost : the cost of your efforts. Nike once had this motto “No pain, No Gain”.
Where is the pain today ?
Today, knowledge is at your fingertips. You wonder what’s the distance between the earth and the moon. “Google is your best friend”. All the knowledge is so easily available, so effortlessly available, that you don’t even feel the need to print that information into your brain. The next time you’ll stumble upon the same question you’ll ask google once more.
Today, consumption is at your fingertips. Want something ? Go online, buy it and it’s even likely to be delivered the same day. Everything now. The supply-chain improvements and in particular automation have made it possible; at the cost of brick-and-mortal retail which only serves showrooming purposes. Laziness is the disease that will kill mankind.
If we don’t allow failure we don’t allow progress
This is a terrible trends, one that actually threatens our society, our education and beyond that the evolution of our species. If we don’t allow failure we don’t allow progress. Comfort is perhaps our worst enemy.
Algorithms have made it too easy to consume without efforts.
Image : shutterstockTags: consumer behavior, data mining