Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Will it help us or destroy us?

I’ll leave the philosophical debate of can a machine really be conscious, or is its intelligence really only the output of the human written software, to the academics, but what is definitely coming soon is machines far more powerful than a human brain. And we will have no choice but to give those machines control of hour lives, for example it won’t be humanly possibly to control the increasing air/rail/road traffic so those quick decisions will have to be made by some sort of artificial intelligence. Why its a question of survival is because we don’t know if Terminator style the machine will suddenly decide that its existence is more important that its day job.

This is one area that I did disagree with Ray Kurzweil in his book The Singularity Is Near – he assumes that any human created higher intelligence would treat us as a curiosity and care for us. As this isn’t how we treat lower animals to us (which we cull, abuse and eat) I don’t think we can be sure that we would be treated any differently.


Slaughterbots – Future of Life Institute
Dramatized near-future scenario where swarms of inexpensive microdrones use artificial intelligence and facial recognition to assassinate political opponents based on preprogrammed criteria.

Latest News

‘Killer robots’ ban blocked by US and Russia at UN meeting – Independent – 3-Sep-18
UN held talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems in Geneva last week.
Some countries want treaty to ban fully autonomous weapons systems.
Would prevent development of weapons which can act without any human oversight.
Advanced military powers including US and Russia blocked progress.
Yet to agree on definition of what a lethal autonomous weapons system is.
Campaign to Stop Killer Robots hopeful an international treaty can be reached.
Austria, Belgium and China recently joined support for an outright ban.

AI researchers sign pledge against killer robots – The Guardian – 18-Jul-2018
Scientists declare they will not develop robots that can attack people without human oversight.
Co-founder of Google DeepMind and CEO of SpaceX among the 2,400 signatories.
Highlights dangers of handing over life and death decisions to AI-enhanced machines.
Future of Life Institute organised pledge calls for laws and regulations.
“A human must always be in the loop” – Toby Walsh, professor of AI.

The man who was fired by a machine – BBC News – 21-Jun-2018
Mr Diallo was escorted from the building.
His boss was confused but helpless – likewise his director.
It took three weeks to find out why he had been sacked.
Previous manager was laid off and had not renewed his contract.
Machines took over – with each order triggering the next.
No mechanism for key card to be re-enabled.

Has technology evolved beyond our control? – The Guardian – 15-Jun-2018
New technologies are not neutral facilitators.
They embody politics and biases, extending beyond nations.
Enlightenment ideal was distributing more information ever more widely.
Where does all this data go, who owns it, and when might it come out?
Our current planet life support systems depend on these technologies.
We have to think, and think again, and keep thinking.

New South Korea university lab could lead to killer robots – The Guardian – 5-Apr-2018
KAIST has partnered with defence manufacturer Hanwha Systems.
New centre will focus on AI-based command and decision systems.
Including navigation for undersea vehicles and aircraft training systems.
50 academics signed the letter calling for a boycott.
Concerned that goal is to develop autonomous weapons.

AI cheats at video game to win – The Verge – 28-Feb-2018
Researchers taught AI agents how to play old Atari video games.
Software discovered a bug that allowed it to rack up near infinite points.
Exploit not discovered by any human before.
COMMENT: how will control AIs if they decide to work around our controls?

Will artificial intelligence become conscious? – Kurzweil AI – 22-Dec-2017
Forget about today’s modest incremental advances in artificial intelligence.
Machines could soon be aware of themselves and their surroundings.
An advanced set of machines could replace humans at literally all jobs.
Conscious machines will raise troubling legal and ethical problems.
Researchers are divided on whether these sorts of hyperaware machines will ever exist.

Killer robots – third revolution in warfare – BBC News – 21-Aug-2017
100 leading robotics experts are urging the United Nations to take action.
A fully autonomous weapon can select and engage targets without human intervention.
Lethal autonomous technology is a Pandora’s box.
Would permit armed conflict at a scale greater and faster than ever.

Artificial Intelligence Chip For Mobile Devices – Futurism – 10-Feb-2016
Current mobile AI offloads processing to the cloud because of power consumption.
MIT announce a new neural networks capable chip called Eyeriss.
10 times the efficiency of most mobile graphics processors.

Digital brain fires like the real thing – New Scientist – 14-Oct-2015
Digital model of one third of a millimetre cubed of a rat’s brain includes 31,000 neurons, 37 million synapses and 207 different types of brain cells.
Human Brain Project model is most detailed ever created.
Responds to stimulation like the living version, with same patterns of firing including choristers and soloists.

FLI awards $7M to explore artificial intelligence risks – KurzweilAI – 1-Jul-2015
Future of Life Institute (FLI) selects 37 global research teams to keep AI beneficial to humanity.
Total awards of about $7 million from Elon Musk and the Open Philanthropy Project.

Microsoft head dismisses threat of artificial intelligence – The Guardian – 28-Jan-15
Eric Horvitz, head of Microsoft’s main research lab, has dismissed fears that AI could pose a threat to the survival of the human race.

Elon Musk commits $10m to keep AI beneficial for humanity – Forbes – 15-Jan-15
Protecting his investments as well as the human race?

Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind – BBC News – 2-Dec-14


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