back to article UK.gov should spend more on AI, bleat VCs and consultants. Oh? Why's that then?

Unlike some of the people who invented it, the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI has "no doubts" that artificial intelligence will bring "tangible and practical deliverables" to the UK – if only the right sort of people use it. Caution about expecting too much from today's AI has been urged by neuroscientist Gary Marcus (PDF …

  1. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Kaminskiy famously appointed a robot to his company board, explaining that it could provide opinions "not immediately obvious to humans" and, er, automate due diligence

    This is what 'care in the community' and underfunding mental health leads to.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The House of Lords probably thinks AI is something that young Babbage chap has come up with.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      It is something that Babbage, or rather Ada Lovelace came up with. The only improvement since this is that the machines now actually work most of the time.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        @Katrinab "The only improvement since this is that the machines now actually work most of the time."

        There's one more improvement, we don't need to hand crank the difference engine any more.

  3. Simon B-52

    Commons vs Lords

    The House of Commons has a lot of Lawyers and PPE Graduates among its ranks.

    Can the panel please enlighten me on the composition of the House of Lords?

    Please be sure not to endanger your jobs in replying to this.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Commons vs Lords

      From memory: a considerably wider range of occupations, even among the hereditary component.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Commons vs Lords

      >Can the panel please enlighten me on the composition of the House of Lords?

      178 are former MPs - although many of them lost their seats in elections or jumped prior to a likely push, they were just too good for the country to lose apparently.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can the panel please enlighten me on the composition of the House of Lords?

    Out-of-touch bunch of unelected, inbred, weak-chinned cast-offs from an earlier time?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Out-of-touch bunch of unelected, inbred, weak-chinned cast-offs from an earlier time?

      There's now only 92 hereditary peers in the House of Lords, plus 26 bishops. Meanwhile there are 676 "life peers", the vast majority being nominees of ill informed greasy parliamentarians.

      So perhaps you could recast your aspersion in more accurate terms?

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Modernised HOH.

      Out-of-touch bunch of unelected, illbred, weak-willed cast-offs from an earlier government?

      FTFY

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    For a Lordy Lords ....... a Right Royal Commitment to Novel Noble Infotainment.*

    By Royal Appointment and Public Charter

    As ever with the consultariat class and today's VCs, there's a plea for more government support (aka funding).

    The Promise of Certainty in Crashing and/or Crushing Democratic Operating System with Daemon Executive Administrations would both provide and guarantee whatever IT takes and is needed.

    Is a Secured Unmitigated Catastrophe necessary for Future Common Sense to Prevail and Avail Subjects with Assets for Objective Use and Sharing?

    Do you really wanna Try Out that Designedly Diabolical Root?

    And with VCs with heavy AI investments now speaking on behalf of the House of Lords, a sceptic may wonder if the institution has vacated its historical role completely.

    A future realist would recognise its historic role enhanced and emboldened and empowered with AIdDrivers Running Programs in Other Worldy Directions.

    How would you compete with that? Would you try to shut IT's Information for IntelAIgents down? Try to Erase a Proven Fact?

    That would be certainly classified as a Mad Folly with a Fiction Chasing a Mention in Dispatches of Quantum Communications in Live Operational Virtual Environments.

    Keep Things Simple, Don't Go There .... is Sound Stable Advice.

    If you defy and deny logic, where are you at? Anywhere sane and thriving?

  6. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    I don't know ...

    ... who this Al guy is. But a lot of people are throwing money at him.

  7. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Disappointed

    Did they not manage to throw some mention of "the" blockchain in there as well?

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Disappointed

      @Nick Ryan

      Now you've gone an' been an' done it, the Intertubes are going to be full of Blockchain AI (BAI) as the ultimate answer to everything in spite of the fact that everyone knows it's 42.

    2. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Disappointed

      Of course. Most of Dmitrey’s ten minute slot was devoted to blockchain and life extension. He invests in both.

    3. 3man

      Re: Disappointed

      Don't worry, The Baroness Mone is already on it.

      https://news.bitcoin.com/michelle-mones-ico-ends-in-disarray-as-equi-capital-fiasco-turns-ugly/

  8. gwp3

    "It sends out a signal and tells the world the UK wants to be a global leader,"

    -----------------

    Sounds like Brexshit.

  9. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    The UK should spend more on higher education

    There are millions of young smartphones who want to pursue their deep machine learning.

    P.S. I apologise for the way our Majesty has chastised the British people and their elected government for their plans to exit the theatre called EU.

    1. Kane Silver badge

      Re: The UK should spend more on higher education

      "P.S. I apologise for the way our Majesty has chastised the British people and their elected government for their plans to exit the theatre called EU."

      Why? Nobody asked you to.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re Fourth Industrial Revolution

    could anyone enlighten me when the last three have happened? I only learned about ei / the Industrial Revolution, but recently I've seen farts along the industrial revolution 2.0, and now, what, we're already into the 4th one?! ;)

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: re Fourth Industrial Revolution

      1 - 1800 - 1850 - agricultural machinery, steam engine, textiles

      2 - 1870 - 1914 - internal combustion engine, electricity, mass production

      3 - 1980 - 2010 - computers

  11. SVV Silver badge

    I thought of getting into transhumanist life extension

    But in the end I just decided that life's too short.

    * I hope they now throw lots of money at me after writing a bad joke, as they have done so at the authors of this bad joke of a report. I'll bring in a crappy robot to tell it if necessary.

  12. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    TL;DR versions.

    It's a lot of BS bingo.

    2200 pages of utter s**t.

    Statistical pattern recognition <> artificial intelligence.

    IMHO the missing link is somewhere between what we know the brains hardware is (very low level) and the thoughts people think with it.

    I spy a virtual machine

  13. Milton Silver badge

    Government requires artificial intelligence ...

    Government requires artificial intelligence ... because it lacks any other kind.

    Imagine presenting your shiny new AIBot to the committee.

    —"Goofacesoft's new bot, sitting here in front of you, is guaranteed to be as intelligent and capable as a living, breathing human."

    ——"That is a most impressive claim. We take it you have been training AIBot at Oxford, Cambridge, and so on?"

    —"Not exactly. We wanted it to reflect the capabilties found in government."

    ——"Very well. So let me ask instead, what is the overall level of AIBot's intelligence? How far does its brain exceed that of the late Prof Hawking, for instance?"

    —"It doesn't have the Prof's particular scientific genius. As I said, we had a specific government focus."

    ——"Specialisation makes sense, I suppose. Which of our brightest and most talented civil servants would AIBot compare to, then?"

    —"The civil service were too busy, alas. We trained AIBot using some Members of Parliament who were available."

    ——"Excellent! Decision-makers. An inspired opportunity, I should say! Which MPs devoted their experience and brilliance to the programme?"

    ... [long pause]

    —"We used Iain Duncan Smith, Angela Leadsom and Owen Paterson."

    ... [AIBot starts singing "Daisy"]

    ——"Master-at-Arms! Remove the Goofacesoft executive from this committee room and take that machine to the Hazardous Waste Incinerator."

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AI in the NHS..

    Seems to be the latest trend, we're being pushed by clinicians to use it but there doesn't appear to be any real benefit and most of the AI I've seen is fancy scripting.. not actual AI of any kind..

  15. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    The Question

    The question that we (as fresh faced undergrads) attempted to answer in the mid 80's is as pertinant now as it was then:

    What is AI?

    It was defined then as something like "a machine that is demonstrably self aware, able to take rational decisions based not only on its human programmed models but also based on models produced by itself from its own input data''

    What do the Lords think it is? At present I feel it's something like "Really powerful computer things that can do stuff like blockchain and interrogate huge quantities of data" which is demonstrably not AI.

    Perhaps only when the Lords get a grip on what the proper answer to the question is, and *anyone* can demonstrate that they can *theoretically* produce a device capable of "AI", should the Government be thinking of investing hundreds of millions into it. Otherwise treat it as any other research.

    At the present time, I seriously believe "AI" is as much snake oil now as it was in the 80's.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: The Question

      If it is a self-aware computer, then we are no closer to it now than when Unix was first released. Outside of the desktop, most computers run some sort of *nix, and whether or not you think Windows is better, I'm sure you agree that it has exactly the same level of self-awareness as *nix type systems, ie none.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Death rates in baby deliveries fixed by AI?!

    I think having more midwives and nurses, and put them on better salaries, would do far better than AI Bollocks.

  17. Rol Silver badge

    And their father gave them both a large sum of money, asking that they look after it.

    On their fathers return, he called his sons to him and asked each in turn to account for the money he had given them for safekeeping .

    The first son explained how he had used nearly all the money to investigate crossing seed varieties to make a better, more hardy and productive crop, and the result was an immediate increase in yields, so much so they had enough spare to feed hungry neighbours and sell the rest recouping the investment thrice fold.

    The father greatly praised him for his diligent and worthy works.

    Bolstered by this, the second son stepped forward exclaiming he had invested the money in A.I. which would surpass the achievements of his brother and bring untold wealth and fortune to the family.

    The father leaned forward asking "And what can I see of this great accomplishment?"

    "I'm afraid I am not the only one investigating A.I. and will require funding beyond what my competitors already have on hand if we are to win the race"

    "This appears meritorious" said the father, "What sum of money will secure our future in this field?"

    "Oh, about five trillion dollars"

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      ...and about 10 years.

      Pretty sure that everything is stil ten years away???

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