Machine Learning is Not Learning. The reason is simply that learning understood correctly is an human activity. Machines calculate in the algorithm, generating impossible numbers for humans to reproduce in short time. That is not learning in the clear concept of ‘learning’. At most, it may be called one process of mathematical ‘learning’, in which case the semantics of such true learning is useless for life learning or Lebensphilosophie.
Technical education gets ‘high’ (as in a drug obsession) on the idea that artificial intelligence learns. Machines neither learn or are intelligent. Intelligence is understanding the arrangement of ‘ideas’, so as to produce different array of ‘ideas’, and, in the process, the human beings have a concept of how the ideas are structured together, and the ‘fit’ of a system produced. The way that machines appear to be intelligent is to calculate words as coded instructions for millions of arrays until something written is intelligible by the reader. In which case, the reader is intelligent, not the machine. There is no understanding housed in the machine, it is located in the top end of the human being. A machine is no more intelligent than the mirror used in the bathroom. It is the human who mistakes the image in the mirror for something intelligent.
Featured Image: Focus Groups and the Oracles of Eden Prairie – Newsletter or Website. Order Number: #27231 (April 24, 2023). Your Marketoonist | Tom Fishburne.
Rather than “machine learning” extending human knowledge and understanding, we have the too-common situation that “machine learning” is preventing human understanding. This is the point of the Tom Fishburne cartoon above. Human thinking has become “machine learning”. We have learnt not to think, and to express mere opinions. Thinking as excellent thinking cannot be reduced to choice of ‘A’ or ‘B’. Thinking has a pattern, which, yes, includes calculation, but is much more. Patterns of being human is not mechanical.
If the machine does give us the required answer of “42”, then will a day come when humans will be rewarded with an unthinking universe, one not merely at the end of the universe, but in the soul of each person (‘human being’)? If we think that way of “machine learning”, the mind will be lost.