Field Note #71. On "AI Snake Oil"


  1. Sayash Kapoor & Arvind Narayanan, "What Makes AI Click, What Makes It Snake Oil, and How to Tell the Difference," avail. online (Aug. 2022)
  2. Arvind Narayanan & Sayash Kapoor, "Why Are Deep Learning Technologists So Overconfident?," avail. online (Aug. 2022)
  3. Arvind Narayanan, "How to Recognize AI Snake Oil," presentation slides avail. online (Nov. 2019)

The Inquiry.

  • AI is not some autonomous agent with supreme predictive power, but will invariably reflect the biases and agendas of entities in control.  At a broad level, this situation compels one to consider the role and impact of decentralization in AI/ML and supporting infrastructure.  Does it not?

The Image.

The Details.

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