In a recent interaction with labor and civil rights leaders, Vice President Kamala Harris attempted to elucidate the concept of artificial intelligence (AI).
Yet another verbal misstep from Harris
Unfortunately, her efforts were met with criticism, as her explanation was deemed convoluted, adding to a growing list of verbal missteps she’s experienced during her tenure.
Addressing the gathering at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., Harris embarked on her explanation of AI. “AI is kind of a fancy thing,” the Vice President started.
“First of all, it’s two letters. It means artificial intelligence, but ultimately what it is, is it’s about machine learning.”
Harris attempts to explain machine learning
Her statement continued, diving into the intricacies of machine learning.
She said, “And so, the machine is taught — and part of the issue here is what information is going into the machine that will then determine — and we can predict then, if we think about what information is going in, what then will be produced in terms of decisions and opinions that may be made through that process.”
The Vice President further simplified her explanation of AI, stating, “So to reduce it down to its most simple point, this is part of the issue that we have here is thinking about what is going into a decision, and then whether that decision is actually legitimate and reflective of the needs and the life experiences of all the people.”
Harris highlights the need for ‘transparency; in AI technology
Harris carried on with her discussion, emphasizing the need for “transparency” in AI technology and its role in decision-making processes.
This incident comes hot on the heels of another event where she received criticism for her comments.
Just the previous day, during a roundtable discussion on transportation, she made a statement that was seen as nonsense: “This issue of transportation is fundamentally about just making sure that people have the ability to get where they need to go! It’s that basic.”
Earlier this year, in April, she also made comments at a pro-abortion rally that were considered baffling by some.
Regarding the significance of the current times, she stated, “So I think it’s very important — as you have heard from so many incredible leaders for us at every moment in time and certainly this one — to see the moment in time in which we exist and are present, and to be able to contextualize it, to understand where we exist in the history and in the moment as it relates not only to the past but the future.”
These instances indicate that the Vice President’s remarks, especially those meant to simplify complex ideas, can sometimes lead to more confusion rather than clarity.