The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Separating Fact from Fiction

Michael Zaldúa

Michael Zaldúa

Dec 19, 20233 min read


The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Separating Fact from Fiction


In Erik J. Larson's book, "El mito de la inteligencia artificial," he challenges the common misconceptions surrounding AI and sheds light on the true capabilities and limitations of this technology. This article aims to explore some key points from Larson's book and provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.

The Illusion of Big Data in Machine Learning:

Larson highlights the irony of placing excessive importance on big data in machine learning. It is commonly assumed that more data leads to better results, but in reality, machine learning systems are nothing more than sophisticated counting machines. While data is undoubtedly crucial for training AI models, blindly relying on the quantity of data can limit the true potential of these systems. Quality and relevance of data should also be considered to achieve accurate and meaningful results.

The Fallacy of Generative Algorithms:

Another thought-provoking insight presented by Larson is the concept of generative algorithms being mere experiments. The idea that AI will lead to the end of humanity is debunked as Larson argues that robots won't rebel against humans. Instead, it is humans who may face rebellion long before robots do. It is essential to understand that AI is a tool created by humans, and its actions are ultimately governed by human programming and decision-making.

Rethinking the Distribution of Productivity Gains:

Larson emphasizes the need to reconsider how the increased productivity resulting from AI advancements is distributed among society. Without a thoughtful approach to sharing the benefits of this progress, there is a risk of exacerbating societal inequalities. It is crucial to proactively address this issue to avoid a potential crisis in the future. By reimagining the redistribution of productivity gains, we can create a more equitable and sustainable future.

Connecting the Dots:

Although the points discussed may seem unrelated at first glance, they are interconnected in their exploration of the myths and realities surrounding AI. By questioning the blind faith in big data, understanding the limitations of generative algorithms, and considering the social implications of AI progress, we can develop a more nuanced understanding of this technology.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize data quality over quantity: Instead of solely focusing on accumulating vast amounts of data, invest in ensuring the data used for AI training is relevant, reliable, and representative of the problem at hand. Quality data leads to more accurate and meaningful AI outcomes.
  • 2. Foster ethical and responsible AI development: As AI continues to evolve, it is crucial to prioritize ethical considerations. Implement policies and guidelines that ensure AI systems are designed and deployed with human values in mind. This includes transparency, accountability, and fairness in decision-making processes.
  • 3. Promote inclusive discussions on AI's societal implications: Encourage open dialogues among various stakeholders to address the potential social and economic impacts of AI. By involving diverse perspectives, we can collectively shape AI's role in society and ensure its benefits are shared equitably.


In conclusion, "El mito de la inteligencia artificial" by Erik J. Larson challenges prevalent misconceptions and provides valuable insights into the true nature of AI. By critically examining the role of big data, the fallacy of generative algorithms, and the need for responsible AI development, we can navigate the complexities of this technology more effectively. It is essential to approach AI with a balanced perspective, harness its potential responsibly, and actively consider its societal implications.

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