“I’m not worried about artificial intelligence giving computers the ability to think like humans; I’m more concerned about people thinking like computers — without values or compassion,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told MIT grads Friday.
It will not be the first time that Tim Cook gives a conference in an educational forum, but this time the Apple CEO spoke at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, better known as the MIT. This engineering school is known as the best in the world in its category and it has come out with exciting projects that have made many headlines in the world.
The Apple CEO spent a day at MIT learning about artificial intelligence research and other emerging technologies and how they can be applied to the benefit of society; and he says he has an eye on not to exceed the limit of personal data.
In early June, as he steadily crossed the stage of Apple’s annual developer conference in front of thousands of people at the San Jose Convention Center, Tim Cook looked lively and enthusiastic with the series of new products and services. Among them was HomePod’s intelligent loudspeaker and new ways to create artificial intelligence (AI) within applications aimed at the developers.
A few days later, the CEO of Apple was on the other side of the US, sitting on a gray sofa next to a yellow pillow of a smiley emoji. He was in the Department of Affective Computing at the MIT Media Lab listening to Rosalind Picard talk about depression. Cook, who gave the graduation speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this year, used the day before the ceremony to learn more about campus investigations, most of which include sensors and artificial intelligence.
Picard is an expert in the use of portable and telephone data to measure human emotions, and is now investigating how data extracted from mobiles can help identify and perhaps even predict depression – a problem that is projected to represent the second leading cause of disability globally by 2020.
A graduate student at the MIT Media Lab’s Social Machine Lab explains her research to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Over time, Picard hopes to be able to predict when a person will become vulnerable to depression, even before it happens. The researcher told Cook: “We want to not only recognize it but try to predict it.”
As our smartphones improve what they know about our behavior better, they could begin to play an important role in helping us monitor and understand ourselves and our future behavior.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review a few hours after the meeting with Picard, Cook listed a number of examples of his advances with this technology. Some of them are the recognition of images in our photos and the way in which Apple Music learns from what we have heard and adjusts its recommendations. Even the iPhone battery has increased its duration because the phone’s power management system uses automatic learning to study the user’s use to fit it.
The CEO of Apple says that the fact that the press does not always recognize Apple’s merits in artificial intelligence may be due to the fact that Apple only likes to talk about the benefits of products that are ready for sale, while many others “sell the future”. Cook says, “We’re not going to talk about the things we’re going to do in 2019, 2020, 2021. It’s not because we do not know, it’s because we do not want to talk about it.”