I do not see Artificial intelligence here


Those are not the movie shots I was looking for.

Six months ago, the Economist said that An understanding of AI’s limitations is starting to sink in.

Me, I already knew that, but today I got another proof. For reasons not relevant here, I wanted to find a picture with the famous quote “That’s the press, baby” from the 1952 movie Deadline, starring Humphrey Bogart.

So I typed “That’s the press baby” in Google, with quotes, and this is what I got:

I do not see Artificial intelligence here /img/that-s-the-press-baby-all.jpg
CAPTION: Click for larger version.

Great. That movie is almost seventy years old, but Google perfectly understood my question. Then, I decided I wanted something that I could surely reuse, so I clicked on Tools-> Usage Rights -> Creative Commons Licenses. This was the result:

I do not see Artificial intelligence here /img/that-s-the-press-baby-cc.jpg
CAPTION: Click for larger version.

Total failure

Rows of images of baby photograps, only baby photographs, with no results at all about that quote? Huh?

Now it is perfectly possible, quite likely actually, that no legally usable version of that shot and quote exist.

I mean, OK, sure, everybody who deserved compensation for any creative contribution to that movie is surely long dead by now. But why on Earth should such an insignificant detail hurt the stranglehold Hollywood, and all monopolistic publishers and media, have on culture?

Let’s go back to search engines and artificial intelligence. If there is no freely licensable image with Humphrey Bogart and that quote, no problem. But then Google should have really returned an empty page, something like this:

I do not see Artificial intelligence here /img/no-justification-for-copyright.png
What? No justification? NONE?

Next time someone you read some uncritical panegyric of the wonders of image recognition, machine learning and so on, take it with a grain of salt. A big one.

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