Another dot in the blogosphere?

Smart moves, stupid bias

Posted on: June 24, 2015

I watched three different YouTube videos recently, but I came to the same conclusion. They were all smart moves.

Video source
One of Samsung’s ideas for road safety was putting cameras in front of large trucks and projecting the videos behind of the road ahead for other road users to see. It was a smart example of using what you already have.

Video source
This was a “dance” or choreographed video with a difference. Most of the performers did not have to be classically trained in dance. Instead, they combined dexterity, coordination, and sheer hard work to create a mesmerizing performance. It was a smart case of finding your own niche.

Video source
This was a rather technical video. The central idea was that the programmer created a programme that taught itself how to play a video game. It was about artificial intelligence mimicking how we learn, but at a more rapid rate. It was a smart example of pushing the envelope.

Rising above the three videos, I would guess that most people would see the utility of the first video: It could prevent accidents and thus save lives.

The second video is a creative endeavour that is good to have, but it is not a must-have. People could take it or leave it.

The third video might create fear. I would wager that a few people might cite the fictional Skynet of The Terminator series of movies. They fear that machines will become smarter than us and sentient, and then elect to wipe us off the face of the planet.

Viewed objectively, we might use logic for the first example, choose personal preference for the second, and rely on fantasy for the third. This is despite the fact that creative and disciplined thinking gave rise to all three.

Stupid human bias holds us back. The same thing blocks empathy and prevents learning. We should not confuse uninformed bias with critical thinking. Learn to tell the difference.

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