AI is already pretty powerful when humans show it what to do. As it gets better at drawing smart conclusions on its own, the technology will enter a new “age of self.”
As humans, we learn both through explicit instruction under the supervision of an expert and autonomously through interactions with our environment. Starting from early childhood, our brains are constantly absorbing sensory inputs and building connections between inputs and experiences. The human brain exhibits a dramatic expansion in size in our formative years, allowing us to retain these early lessons as we age. Arguably, most of our education about how to operate in the real world comes from autonomous learning and from our ability to generalize such learnings in contextually appropriate ways.