The truth about artificial intelligence? It isn’t that honest
We are, as the critic George Steiner observed, “language animals”. Perhaps that’s why we are fascinated by other creatures that appear to have language – dolphins, whales, apes, birds and so on. In her fascinating book, Atlas of AI, Kate Crawford relates how, at the end of the 19th century, Europe was captivated by a horse called Hans that apparently could solve maths problems, tell the time, identify days on a calendar, differentiate musical tones and spell out words and sentences by tapping his hooves.