[Essay] Known Unknowns | New Dark Age by James Bridle | Harper’s Magazine

[Essay] Known Unknowns | New Dark Age by James Bridle | Harper’s Magazine

This cautionary tale, repeated often in the academic literature on machine learning, is probably apocryphal, but it illustrates an important question about artificial intelligence: What can we know about what a machine knows? Whatever artificial intelligence might come to be, it will be fundamentally different from us, and ultimately inscrutable. Despite increasingly sophisticated systems of computation and visualization, we do not truly understand how machine learning does what it does; we can only adjudicate the results.