The Rise of Artificial Intelligences

Here is a well done video from PBS on artificial intelligence(s). Robin Hanson is excellent and is featured around 3:27-5:30.


Marvin Minsky says on p. 71 of The Society of Mind:

"Our minds contain processes that enable us to solve problems we consider
diffi cult. 'Intelligence' is our name for whichever of those processes we don’t
yet understand."

On that view, it would seem that, to the extent that robots carry out processes that the builders/programmers understand, the term "intelligence" -- as in "artificial intelligence" -- is unsuitable.

For those intressted in AI, there is a wunderful documentation on it. Its the last part of a general computer documentation.

The Machine That Changed the World: The Thinking Machine (

What movie is that silver craft at time 7:35 from?

Flight of the Navigator

This was an intensely depressing clip - my take away from this is the benefits of future applications of AI are "huge" ( i.e. completely unspecified) things such as better diagnosis and strong AI could (based on some kind of study) add 1 trillion dollars to US GDP (that's something like a "whopping" 1/15th of the current size of the US economy). In exchange we get the good fortune of having to deal with the unprecedented massive and very scary social problems that will arise. We can lose our humanity but we get "better healthcare diagnoses and search results on Amazon". And who cares people will have different values in the future right?

I also love the one commentator discussing how this is like the agricultural revolution where some people "decided" to remain hunter-gathers and the rest became farmers. Yeah it was just a decision - and when the European farmers came to the Americas to massacre indigenous hunter gathers well that was just the consequence of the hunter gather's choice. It's all so nice and clean - hey just download your brain and join the Borg.
I'm sorry but most of the commentators in this video sound deranged.

It's a pity Robin isn't more charismatic, he has some awesome ideas but he needs a front man to take them to the masses.

From the way it's presented in this video it sounds like AI could lead to some interested and fairly beneficial new applicatons at the cost of devestating social problems and the potential for most of humanity to be effectively enslaved. Yeah I would definitly say Robin needs to work on communication if indeed he actually does have awesome ideas beyond the typical libertarian wet dream crap.

Having read up on some of the issues that will be faced by the whole "human brain" project that the US and EU are pushing for, I wonder if brain emulation is really going to be that inevitable. What if there is no simple underlying algorithm to human thought - just layers upon layers of heuristic "rules" playing off of particular parts of the brain and neuroplasticity, which get more and more difficult to measure without resorting to unethical research methods? It could be like particle physics, where we're hitting the issues of trying to go into more fundamental areas while needing multi-billion dollar particle colliders to get any experimental proof.

I'm almost more confident that we'll find our way to artificial intelligence through other methods and designs.

I am not convinced.
Take the Turing test for example. I have no idea how Cleverbot could score 59%, meaning that 59% of humans thought they were talking to a human being with conversations like these:
This is a looooong way from being useful in any way.

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