Summary of “The Discourse Is Unhinged”

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Artificial intelligence (AI) will change the way people live, drive their cars and diagnose disease. But rather than reporting on the technology’s incremental breakthroughs, the media tend to paint end-of-the-world scenarios revolving around AI. In The Guardian, writer and researcher Oscar Schwartz warns that overblown public expectations about AI’s potential and speculative accounts of rogue technology may hurt the field of AI research. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone who is overly excited or excessively pessimistic about AI. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why journalists covering artificial intelligence (AI) focus on the wrong stories and
  • Why the media hype undermines AI research. 

About the Author

Oscar Schwartz, PhD, is a writer, researching digital technology’s influence on culture and human interaction.



In June 2017, scientists at Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research lab described an experiment in which two negotiating bots occasionally deviated from standard English. AI experts deemed the finding – which the researchers attributed to a programming lapse – noteworthy but not spectacular. But Fast Company spun the story to suggest that the researchers lost control over the bots as they started to communicate in their own language. Other publications adopted the idea, developing it into a Frankenstein-like tale.

Zachary Lipton, a machine-learning...

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