AI’s capabilities in pattern recognition can indeed give the impression of understanding, when in reality it’s purely data-driven. For example, by studying millions of boat routes over what would be equivalent to 10,000 human years, an AI system would identify patterns related to tides and drawbridges without actually comprehending these concepts. It may predict optimal navigation routes that avoid high tides or drawbridge lifts, but this doesn’t imply an understanding of marine science or civil engineering.
In essence, AI’s efficacy in these scenarios comes from its ability to discern statistical correlations within enormous datasets. It identifies repeated occurrences where boats avoid certain paths at specific times and integrates this information into its predictive model. While humans would interpret these avoided paths as being related to tides or drawbridge schedules, the AI algorithm remains agnostic to the ‘why.’ Its sole focus is on delivering the most efficient route based on observed data patterns.