5 Very Smart People Who Think Artificial Intelligence Could Bring the Apocalypse
Dec02

5 Very Smart People Who Think Artificial Intelligence Could Bring the Apocalypse

ShareVictor Luckerson   Dec. 2, 2014 Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking poses for a picture ahead of a gala screening of the documentary ‘Hawking’, a film about the scientist’s life.AFP/Getty Images ‘The end of the human race’ On the list of doomsday scenarios that could wipe out the human race, super-smart killer robots rate pretty high in the public consciousness. And in scientific circles, a growing number of artificial intelligence experts agree that humans will eventually create an artificial intelligence that can think beyond our own capacities. This moment, called the singularity, could create a utopia in which robots automate common forms of labor and humans relax amid bountiful resources. Or it could lead the artificial intelligence, or AI, to exterminate any creatures it views as competitors for control of the Earth—that would be us. Stephen Hawking has long seen the latter as more likely, and he made his thoughts known again in a recent interview with the BBC. Here are some comments by Hawking and other very smart people who agree that, yes, AI could be the downfall of humanity. Stephen Hawking “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” the world-renowned physicist told the BBC. “It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” Hawking has been voicing this apocalyptic vision for a while. In a May column in response to Transcendence, the sci-fi movie about the singularity starring Johnny Depp, Hawking criticized researchers for not doing more to protect humans from the risks of AI. “If a superior alien civilisation sent us a message saying, ‘We’ll arrive in a few decades,’ would we just reply, ‘OK, call us when you get here—we’ll leave the lights on’? Probably not—but this is more or less what is happening with AI,” he wrote. Elon Musk Known for his businesses on the cutting edge of tech, such as Tesla and SpaceX, Musk is no fan of AI. At a conference at MIT in October, Musk likened improving artificial intelligence to “summoning the demon” and called it the human race’s biggest existential threat. He’s also tweeted that AI could be more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Musk called for the establishment of national or international regulations on the development of AI. Nick Bostrom The Swedish philosopher is the director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, where he’s spent a lot of time thinking about the potential outcomes of the singularity. In his new book Superintelligence, Bostrom argues that once machines surpass human intellect,...

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IBM’s Newest Invention Mimics the Human Brain on an Atomic Level
Mar22

IBM’s Newest Invention Mimics the Human Brain on an Atomic Level

IBM scientists described a new kind of circuit in a paper published in Science on Thursday. There is no chip involve, per se. It’s being described accurately as a “post-silicon transistor” and potentially paves the way for the most powerful and efficient computers the world has ever seen….

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Why ‘Her’ Is the Best Movie Ever Made About the Singularity
Jan15

Why ‘Her’ Is the Best Movie Ever Made About the Singularity

Share BY ADARIO STRANGE The pop-culture tuning fork known as the Academy Awards will reveal its film nominations on Thursday, and if the recent Golden Globes win by Her on Sunday for best screenplay is any indication, the film’s writer and director,Spike Jonze, may score his first-ever Oscar win.But the film, which depicts a man in the not-too-distant future who falls in love with his computer operating system, may be less important as an epic love story and far more relevant as the best and most widely accessible film we’ve seen about an idea known as the Singularity. Popularized by science fiction author Vernor Vinge as well as inventor and now Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil, the Singularity is a theoretical point in future history when artificial intelligences exceed the power of the human mind, become self-aware and dramatically change the balance of power on the planet while simultaneously transforming the very nature of humanity itself. Films like 1999’s The Matrix showed us a world struggling in aftermath of the Singularity in which seemingly malevolent artificial intelligences enslaved humanity. But perhaps the earliest cinematic conflict applying sentient qualities to an mechanized construct is a film that celebrated its 87-year anniversary on Friday: 1927’s Metropolis. The film tells the tale of a scientist who transforms a metallic robot into a flawless copy of a kidnapped woman named Maria. Spoiler alert: the robot is later burned at the stake and human Maria is set free. One of the central differences between these three films is how they reveal humanity’s relationship to technology at the time. In the technologically naïve 1920s that created Metropolis, humanity can easily defeat technology through the same means used to dispatch human criminals. The Matrix, on the other hand, was released during the mainstream explosion of the Internet and all the uncertainty it fostered. In the film, technology appears as something out of our control, with only one “magical” human (Neo) given the ability to meet the sentient computers on equal footing. But in Her we’re given a far more mature look at what the Singularity may really look like when and if it comes to pass. While many were alternately enthralled and creeped out by the subtlety and charm of the emotional interaction between Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) and his operating system, OS One by Element Software, later known as Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), few among the film’s enthusiastic reviewers have explored how the relationship ends. It’s at this point that we’ll warn you to look away if you don’t want the plot spoiled. Read More at Mashable: Why ‘Her’ Is the Best Movie Ever Made About the Singularity  ...

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Amazon Sees Delivery Drones as Future
Dec03

Amazon Sees Delivery Drones as Future

ShareScott Mayerowitz, AP Business Writer  This undated image provided by Amazon.com shows the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project that Amazon is working on in its research and development labs. Amazon says it will take years to advance the technology and for the Federal Aviation Administration to create the necessary rules and regulations, but CEO Jeff Bezos said Sunday Dec. 1, 2013, there’s no reason Drones can’t help get goods to customers in 30 minutes or less. (AP Photo/Amazon) Amazon.com said it’s working on the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project in its research and development labs. But the company says it will take years to advance the technology and for the Federal Aviation Administration to create the necessary rules and regulations.   The project was first reported by CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night, hours before millions of shoppers turned to their computers for Cyber Monday sales. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a primetime interview that while the octocopters look like something out of science fiction, there’s no reason they can’t be used as delivery vehicles. Bezos said the drones can carry packages that weigh up to five pounds, which covers about 86 percent of the items Amazon delivers. The drones the company is testing have a range of about 10 miles, which Bezos noted could cover a significant portion of the population in urban areas. While it’s tough to say exactly how long it will take the project to get off the ground, Bezos told “60 Minutes” that he thinks it could happen in four or five years. “Technology has always been a double edged sword. Fire kept us warm and cooked our food but also was used to burn down our villages,” said Ray Kurzweil, a technology entrepreneur and futurist. Kurzweil’s 2005 book “The Singularity is Near” argues that the age of smarter-than-human intelligence will arrive in the not-so-distant future. “Drones will deliver packages and provide improved mapmaking and monitoring of traffic, but will introduce similar privacy concerns,” he said. Kurzweil noted, however, that security cameras are already in most public spaces, not to mention the ubiquitous camera phone. Unlike the drones used by the military, Bezos’ proposed flying machines wouldn’t need humans sitting in a distant trailer to control them. Amazon’s drones would receive a set of GPS coordinates and automatically fly to them, presumably avoiding buildings, power lines and other obstacles along the way. Amazon spent almost $2.9 billion in shipping last year, accounting for 4.7 percent of its net sales. Drone delivery faces several legal and technology obstacles similar to Google’s experimental driverless car. How do you design a machine that safely navigates...

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Aaron Sloman on Psychology and Artificial Intelligence

This a transcript of a video, of Aaron Sloman being interviewed by Adam Ford,
at the Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) Winter Conference, St Anne’s College, Oxford University, December 2012.

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