On 23 Feb 2024 I gave a talk at the Pervasive Media Studio on The Illusion of Artificial Intelligence.

The Cambridge Dictionary named ‘hallucinate’ as Word of the Year 2023. This is supposed to be what AIs do when they produce text such as “eggs can melt”. In fact, this use of “hallucinate” is a category mistake: an AI producing such a phrase is behaving correctly according to its specification, which involves no meaning at all; and it is we, subjected to the psychodrama and spin that issue from technology corporations, who have been persuaded into thinking that there is any more going on inside these computer programs. Which is not to say that AI is useless. Or harmless. Through a thought experiment or two, I examined AI and its spurious role in our society, all the way from illusion through delusion, to hallucination.

Here’s the talk on YouTube.