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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Robot overlords, etc.

Via Justin Green, here's Kevin Drum on machine intelligence. Excerpt:
This is a story about the future. Not the unhappy future, the one where climate change turns the planet into a cinder or we all die in a global nuclear war. This is the happy version. It's the one where computers keep getting smarter and smarter, and clever engineers keep building better and better robots. By 2040, computers the size of a softball are as smart as human beings. Smarter, in fact. Plus they're computers: They never get tired, they're never ill-tempered, they never make mistakes, and they have instant access to all of human knowledge.
And, Drum argues, while they may not try to kill or enslave us, they will cause massive unemployment. His piece is less lurid than some predictions, but I'm inclined to think there's a lot we don't know about intelligence, and replicating it is not going to follow the exponential path he aptly illustrates. A few of my relevant pieces from over the years:

"Are We Just Really Smart Robots?" Reason.

"Searching for Bobby Fischer's Platonic Form." TCS Daily.

"Masters of the Universe." Reason.

"Dear Posthumans." TCS Daily.

"Only Posthuman." Sciam Mind.

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