What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence

Review From User :

Where are they" Enrich Fermi
(Intelligent machines should emerge on a relative short timescale to propagate other solar systems)


This is a great collection of short essays by great thinkers. Could machines be programmed to become sufficiently self-interested to maintain their power source Is it perhaps a problem of vocabulary The best essay title, for me was: "Can submarines swim" by William Poundstone. In the current state of our evolutionary language, we may not have the right words to phrase the right questions. Language must advance and adapt.

Have you ever moved 1/2way around the world by a moving company This is how machines think. They packed bricks, they packed half drunk coke cans, they packed without thinking and they were most efficient at getting the task done. Today, spell check censors our typos. Tomorrow in China we could have "political thought" censors. Big brother, isn't the computer but the human behind the design. As one author put it: humans are cunning, and capable of deception, revenge, suspicion, and unpredictability. They are the ones to fear.

When will machines think Or better, when will we lose our cognitive skills and we stop thinking Our abandonment of responsibility and competence led to the global financial crisis. What is next The complacent society The cognitive capacity that has been freed must not be wasted. Francis Bacon spoke of "our obligation to learn, and the dream of erudition". It is up to us to decide. Obviously, we already have computer viruses that self replicate, so procreation isn't an issue. More phones are made everyday than babies are born.

The big take away is not to view intelligence anthropocentrically. We confuse agents and automata, and we will likely think that if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck or in de Vaucanson's case it even crapped like a duck, then if must be a duck. Spontaneous arrival of self consciousness may be in the cards in some distant future but is in unlikely that the Mars rover will ever become aware of itself.


Category: Science

As the world becomes ever more dominated by technology, John Brockman’s latest addition to the acclaimed and bestselling “Edge Question Series” asks more than 175 leading scientists, philosophers, and artists: What do you think about machines that think?

The development of artificial intelligence has been a source of fascination and anxiety ever since Alan Turing formalized the concept in 1950. Today, Stephen Hawking believes that AI “could spell the end of the human race.” At the very least, its development raises complicated moral issues with powerful real-world implications – for us and for our machines.

In this volume, recording artist Brian Eno proposes that we’re already part of an AI: global civilization, or what TED curator Chris Anderson elsewhere calls the hive mind. And author Pamela McCorduck considers what drives us to pursue AI in the first place.

On the existential threat posed by superintelligent machines, Steven Pinker questions the likelihood of a robot uprising. Douglas Coupland traces discomfort with human-programmed AI to deeper fears about what constitutes “humanness.” Martin Rees predicts the end of organic thinking, while Daniel C. Dennett explains why he believes the Singularity might be an urban legend.

Provocative, enriching, and accessible, What to Think About Machines That Think may just be a practical guide to the not-so-distant future.

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