humans vs AI summer 2015, machine ethics, transhumanism, topnotch links

Transhumanismhi all. Part II. within the last few months theres been a huge blaring in the media over AI vs humans due to a variety of factors. one of the chief factors seems to be Elon Musk jumping into the issue with his announcement of “committing $10M on new projects to control AI”. he does not seem to have a lot of history in this area but the media pays intense attention to this intense individual (who is supposedly the model for iron man’s Tony Stark). but a lot of his very high profile cohorts are blaring the issue also: Hawking, Gates, Kurzweil, Deutsch, and others. the warnings are quite dire, even verging on shrill, but somehow, find it hard to take all this entirely seriously myself. for example Gates and Musk seem to be far more of a threat to global wealth inequality. and, all due respect, but did Hawking even write anything on computer science in his life?[a]

another element of the discussion is that google is now realized to be working on cutting edge AI through all their acquisitions, and they announced the creation of an ethics board.[c] others are discussing the issue in a more reasoned way without so much “sky-could-be-falling” type urgency/ alarm.[b] it appears this issue is becoming subject to expert and scientific polarization much like global warming in some ways. there are many parallels, eg each issue is not expected to impact humanity much immediately but more so, possibly catastrophically, in decades, there is intense debate about the actual seriousness, etc.

also part of the zeitgeist, many numerous brain simulations in universities and industry are difficult to track and getting extremely advanced in some cases at least in the hardware capability (and the software/ intelligence gap is still the continuing challenge).[d]

within the last few years, breakthrough algorithms for writing/ speaking/ translation are getting near human quality or even better.[e]

an area where algorithms show special advance/ promise is in playing video games.[f] games represent a sort of middle ground between human and machine intelligence. chess was conquered long ago but some difficult games remain such as Go where humans still have a slight edge and this is thought to be indicative of the gap between human and AI intelligences.

googles driving system seems very near introduction and commercialization. google is normally very aggressive about all their other products but seem to be treading very gingerly here, even with its strikingly good driving record, possibly exceeding average human reliability and safety. it seems like it could be deployed right now maybe in some situations eg smaller towns or some foreign countries.[g]

there are many other emerging/ developing/ increasingly successful applications,[h] and many refs.[i] AI competitions and conferences are attaining especially higher profiles.[j]

the theory of AI is still somewhat rough, nobody really can point to how the brain really works, it seems one of the ultimate emergent properties currently under study by science (nearly as epic as other giant mysteries such as dark matter in the universe, and maybe even more significant). but steady advances seem to be being made in the area.[k]

movies contain some of all this reflected in art.[l]

including a section on sparse coding which seems to explain some of the mysteries of the brains autonomous/ unsupervised feature detection esp in the visual cortex.[m]


a. dire threat/ warnings/ danger/ alarm
b. man vs machine, forecast/ future
c. ethics
d. hardware/ brain simulations
e. writing/ speaking/ translation
f. games
g. driving
h. applications
i. edu
j. competition/ conferences
k. theory
l. movies
m. sparse coding

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