According to Aaron Frank of the SingularityHUB, the technology the world depends on in order to function has become so complex that even experts are dumbfounded when things stop working.
[...] In the case of driverless cars, machine learning systems build their own algorithms to teach themselves — and in the process become too complex to reverse engineer.
And it’s not just software that’s become unknowable to individual experts, says Arbesman.
Machines like particle accelerators and Boeing airplanes have millions of individual parts and miles of internal wiring. Even a technology like the U.S. Constitution, which began as an elegantly simple operating system, has grown to include a collection of federal laws “22 million words long with 80,000 connections between one section and another.”
In the face of increasing complexity, experts are ever more likely to be taken by surprise when systems behave in unpredictable and unexpected ways.
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