Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Doom and gloom

Tiresias, the blind prophet, appears to Ulysses.
Johann Heinrich Füssli (1741-1825)
There is always something about the end of the year which inspires predictions. The National Post has just published How will the world end? From ‘demonic’ AI to nuclear war — seven scenarios that could end human race. The good thing about making these predictions is that no one is going to be able to prove any of them wrong.

I was most interested in what Stephen Hawking had to say about artificial intelligence, and while I agree on the potential dangers of such automated systems, I think that "artificial intelligence" is a poor choice of terminology. Perhaps something like "intelligence simulation" might be a better term. After all "simulated orange flavour" has no connection to orange trees at all other than through a sense perception that is not that convincing, anyway. For those who still think that "artificial intelligence" is an accurate term, I would be most interested in hearing how they would design the (compensatory) unconscious mind.

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