Did GoogleAI Just Snooker One of Silicon Valley’s Sharpest Minds?

Gary Marcus in The Road to AI We Can Trust:

Clever Hans, a horse widely reputed to be so much smarter than his brethren that he could do math, tell time, and even read and spell.

People may no longer believe that horses can do math, but they do want to believe that a new kind of “artificial general intelligence [AGI]”, capable of doing math, understanding human language, and so much more, is here or nearly here. Elon Musk, for example, recently said that it was more likely than not that we would see AGI by 2029 . (I think he is so far I offered to bet him a $100,000 he was wrong; enough of my colleagues agreed with me that within hours they quintupled my bet, to $500,000. Musk didn’t have the guts to accept, which tells you a lot.)

But it’s not just Elon that wants you to believe that AI is nigh. Much of the corporate world wants you to believe the same.

Take Google. Throughout the 2010’s, Google (and by extension its parent, Alphabet) was by the far the biggest player in AI. They bought Geoffrey Hinton’s small startup, soon after Hinton and his students launched the deep learning revolution, and they bought the research powerhouse DeepMind, after DeepMind made an impressive demonstration of a single neural network architecture that could play many Atari games at superhuman levels. Hundreds of other researchers flocked there; one of the best-known minds in AI, Peter Norvig, had already been there for years.

More here.