Critical AI?

Agres piece was an interesting read as a means to see what we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks in how it pertains to a different field, namely Artificial Intelligence in the case of Agres.  It nice to see a case where this same sort of thinking goes on in another field, which in many ways can be deemed less subjective.

One of the interesting concepts I found in the piece was his encounters where others were strictly against criticizing the work of others, and noting “the only legitimate form of critical argument is that my system performs better than your system on problem X“.  I wonder if due to the existence of a benchmark such as solving a problem quicker automatically leads one away from critical thought in regards to the work, considering they have such as easy method to “grade” it’s quality.  This goes back to my previous point about design being more subjective.  Are we only critical of design where the designer has given us an inroad to be critical?  For instance, are we that critical of a design for a spoon which is much more effective at inserting soup in to a mouth, if it easily and simply solves the issue at hand?  Or is it even possible to create such a silver bullet, and there is always an entry point to be critical?

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