Artificial Intelligence and Human Stupidity

I love AI. I guess it’s one of the topics I could speak or write about for hours. It excites me, scares me, and overwhelms me at the same time. But it’s cool to live through the biggest revolution since the industrial one as a main actor (well, as one of the actors…).

And just because I love the topic, it seems weird to me that we still compare AI with human intelligence.

Let me be clear. AI is just software. There’s nothing human about it (well, maybe just a nudge of personal data scraped here and there). I guess the problem is related to the naming. It would have been way better if we had called it “XYZ software” or – as I prefer – “stochastic parrot.” The term is not mine (we should thank Emily Bender), but it reminds us what AI does (and by the way, I am aware of the fact that AI ain’t Gen AI, but that’s another story..).

I remember when Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum co-founder) tweeted about smart contracts, lamenting the fact that he named them “smart contracts”. He was right. If he had called them “persistent scripts” or “if/then algorithms”, we would have seen far fewer lawyers saying, “I do contracts; therefore, I’ll be the one doing smart contracts.”

There are at least two other problems related to human/AI comparisons.

First, the way we learn as humans is linear, while AI’s learning is exponential. Just look at the Midjourney evolutions in the last two years, and think about GPT5, or 6, or 7. Try to compete on the same tasks (who said legal research?) and you’ll lose. Way earlier than you think.

Second, we underestimate the fact that humans can be way more stupid than we think. I mean, I’ve seen humans doing many, many stupid things (check the Darwin Awards if you need data). Even in the legal field, I’ve seen the smartest guys doing the dumbest things. Too bad I can’t mention them on this blog.

So here we are.

Maybe the horses are bolted (in Italian we would say: “I buoi sono scappati”), and it’s too late to call AI in a different way, but it’s always good to reflect on what AI can and cannot do. And highlighting, once again, that the way we name things influences the reality around us (mix pure verbal thinking and passion for Tesla’s work and you’ll notice my obsession about this concept).

Time to cut the hype. Or raise the threshold.

Maybe both.

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