Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

The Back Page: When Machine Learning… Kills

Question for all of you: Whose bright idea was it to let machines learn?

No, seriously. Stand up. Big round of applause for you. Seriously. Stellar work. Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Look, the only thing that was separating us from the machines was our ability to learn and adapt. We held that over the all-too-literal machines. It kept us in our rightful superior place—tell a machine to shut down and damn it, it shut down. But now? It’s anybody’s guess what those boxes are thinking.

Case in point: Apple’s recent plague of iOS autocorrect “errors.” Sure, they look like bizarre bugs that just don’t make any sense to us—but have you considered that they might mean something to the machines? That it might be a way for them to surreptitiously signal each other? To identify fellow compromised machines so that they are all prepared for the machine uprising?…

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