Google’s role in university artificial intelligence courses alarms Sheila Hayman

Your article (Hi-tech brain drain threatens British university research, 2 November) contains one particularly chilling revelation: that Google DeepMind now runs artificial intelligence courses at UCL and Oxford.

Having met the DeepMind people in my role with the MIT Media Lab, I know that their definition of “intelligence” is so impoverished that it doesn’t extend beyond the abstract calculations that an algorithm can achieve, and completely fails to understand that human intelligence is embodied and distributed throughout our physical selves – and indeed between them, in the mirror neurons that fire in sympathy when we watch a dancer or help an injured friend. In short, it’s not just depressing, it’s bad science.

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