AI on fire

According to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, A.I. is the 'most profound' technology:

[..] more profound than fire or electricity or anything that we've done in the past.


He had the same thoughts during a Google town hall in 2018, saying that A.I. was “one of the most important things to humanity,” adding it’s “more profound than, I don’t know, electricity or fire.” 

At the time, Pichai went on to compare the upside and downside of A.I. with the ancient discovery.   

“Well, it kills people, too,” Pichai said about the perils of fire in 2018.

I don't know exactly what it is about this comparison that is so incredibly amusing to me. Is it because fire is a fundamentally different kind of technology than A.I.? I mean, can we even agree on what intelligence is, let alone artificial intelligence? It's even more ridiculous if we're talking about the current state of A.I. and not some imagined future technology. Yes, sure. Fire is what lets me cook my food, boil my water and keeps me warm at night – literally the one technology that is essential to all three basic human needs – but A.I. lets me ask a data center powered by slavery what the sum of 439 and 2398 is and get a completely incorrect answer delivered in the enthusiastic voice of a high school student trying to fake a review of a book they didn't read.

Let's compare fire to A.I., and see what we can learn.

Thanks to the wisdom and insight of Google CEO Pichai, we've established that they both kill people. I think we can also agree that A.I. and fire are both quite hot right now. A.I. can answer questions (albeit incorrectly), whereas fire is the answer to the most burning questions. While A.I. burns through massive computational resources, fire literally burns. Fire is an elemental force of nature while A.I. is a marketing term.

addendum: Fire will get you food, while A.I. will get you fired. (thanks to @lawik for this one)

I don't know. I think I'll stick with fire for now.