But even then, i expect that the internal advances by the research teams will add cognitive abilities in small steps. Even if you have a theoretically optimal intelligence algorithm, it's constrained by computing resources, so you either need lots of hardware or approximation hacks (or most likely both) before it can function effectively in the high-dimensional state space of the real world, and this again. Marcus Hutter's aixi(tl) is an example of a theoretically optimal general intelligence, but most ai researchers feel it won't work for artificial general intelligence (AGI) because it's astronomically expensive to compute. Ben goertzel explains : "I think that tells you something interesting. It tells you that dealing with resource restrictions - with the boundedness of time and space resources - is actually critical to intelligence. If you lift the restriction to do things efficiently, then ai and agi are trivial problems." 1 In " i still Dont Get foom robin Hanson contends: Yes, sometimes architectural choices have wider impacts.
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For a long time i inclined toward Yudkowsky's vision of ai, because i respect his opinions and didn't ponder the details too closely. This is also the more prototypical example of rebellious ai in science fiction. In early 2014, a friend of mine challenged this view, noting that computing power is a severe limitation for human-level minds. My friend suggested that ai advances would be slow and would diffuse through society rather than remaining in the hands of a single developer team. As i've read more ai literature, i think this soft-takeoff view is pretty likely to be correct. Science is always a gradual process, and almost all ai innovations homework historically have moved in tiny steps. I would guess that even the evolution of humans from their writing primate ancestors was a "soft" takeoff in the sense that no single son or daughter was vastly more intelligent than his or her parents. The evolution of technology in general has been fairly continuous. I probably agree with paul Christiano that "it is unlikely that there will be rapid, discontinuous, and unanticipated developments in ai that catapult it to superhuman levels." Of course, it's not guaranteed that ai innovations will diffuse throughout society. At some point perhaps governments will take control, in the style of the manhattan Project, and they'll keep the advances secret.
Following Bostrom's book, a wave of essay discussion about ai risk emerged from Elon Musk, stephen Hawking, bill Gates, and many others. Ai risk suddenly became a mainstream topic discussed by almost every major news outlet, at least with one or two articles. This foreshadows what we'll see more of in the future. The outpouring of publicity for the ai topic happened far sooner than i imagined it would. A soft takeoff seems more likely? Various thinkers have debated the likelihood of a "hard" takeoff - in which a single computer or set of computers rapidly becomes superintelligent on its own - compared with a "soft" takeoff - in which society as a whole is transformed by ai. " The hanson-Yudkowsky ai-foom Debate " discusses this in great detail. The topic has also been considered by many others, such as Ramez naam.
Many people think strong ai is too far off, and we should focus on nearer-term problems. In addition, it's possible that science fiction itself is part of paper the reason: people may write off ai scenarios as "just science fiction as I would have done prior to late 2005. (Of course, this is partly for good reason, since depictions of ai in movies are usually very unrealistic.) Often, citing Hollywood is taken as a thought-stopping deflection of the possibility of ai getting out of control, without much in the way of substantive argument. For example : "let's please keep the discussion firmly within the realm of reason and leave the robot uprisings to hollywood screenwriters." As ai progresses, i find it hard to imagine that mainstream society will ignore the topic forever. Perhaps awareness will accrue gradually, or perhaps an ai sputnik moment will trigger an avalanche of interest. Stuart Russell expects that Just as nuclear fusion researchers consider the problem of containment of fusion reactions as one of the primary problems of their field, it seems inevitable that issues of control and safety will become central to ai as the field matures. I think it's likely that issues of ai policy will be debated heavily in the coming decades, although it's possible that ai will be like nuclear weapons - something that everyone is afraid of but that countries can't stop because of arms-race dynamics. So even if ai proceeds slowly, there's probably value in thinking more about these issues well ahead of time, though I wouldn't consider the counterfactual value of doing so to be astronomical compared with other projects in part because society will pick up the slack. 2015 : I wrote the preceding paragraphs writing mostly in may 2014, before nick bostrom's Superintelligence book was released.
Nonetheless, it seems nearly inevitable to me that digital intelligence in some form will eventually leave biological humans in the dust, if technological progress continues without faltering. This is almost obvious when we zoom out and notice that the history of life on Earth consists in one species outcompeting another, over and over again. Ecology's competitive exclusion principle suggests that in the long run, either humans or machines will ultimately occupy the role of the most intelligent beings on the planet, since "When one species has even the slightest advantage or edge over another then the one with the. Will society realize the importance of AI? The basic premise of superintelligent machines who have different priorities than their creators has been in public consciousness for many decades. Arguably even, frankenstein, published in 1818, expresses this basic idea, though more modern forms include 2001: a space Odyssey (1968 The terminator (1984 i, robot (2004 and many more. Probably most people in Western countries have at least heard of these ideas if not watched or read pieces of fiction on the topic. So why do most people, including many of society's elites, ignore strong ai as a serious issue? One reason is just that the world is really big, and there are many important (and not-so-important) issues that demand attention.
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Progress in ai software relies heavily on computer hardware, and it depends at least a little bit on other writing fundamentals of computer science, like programming languages, operating systems, distributed systems, and networks. Ai also shares significant overlap with neuroscience; this is especially true if whole brain emulation arrives before bottom-up. And everything else in society matters a lot too: How intelligent and engineering-oriented are citizens? How much do governments fund ai and cognitive-science research? (I'd encourage less rather than more.) What kinds of military and commercial applications are being developed?
Are other industrial backbone components of society stable? What memetic lenses does society have for understanding and grappling with these trends? The ai story is part of a larger story of social and technological change, in which one part influences other parts. Significant trends in ai may not look like the ai we see in movies. They may not involve animal-like cognitive agents as seven much as more "boring business-oriented computing systems. Some of the most transformative computer technologies in the period have been drones, smart phones, and social networking. These all involve some ai, but the ai is mostly used as a component of a larger, non-ai system, in which many other facets of software engineering play at least as much of a role.
When viewed up close, these algorithms could look as "dumb" as the kinds of algorithms in narrow ai that I had previously dismissed as "not really intelligence." Of course, animal brains combine these seemingly dumb subcomponents in dazzlingly complex and robust ways, but I could. It now seemed plausible that broad ai could emerge from lots of work on narrow ai combined with stitching the parts together in the right ways. So the singularity idea of artificial general intelligence seemed less crazy than it had initially. This was one of the rare cases where a bold claim turned out to look more probable on further examination; usually extraordinary claims lack much evidence and crumble on closer inspection. I now think it's quite likely (maybe 75) that humans will produce at least a human-level ai within the next 300 years conditional on no major disasters (such as sustained world economic collapse, global nuclear war, large-scale nanotech war, etc. and also ignoring anthropic considerations.
The singularity is more than. The "singularity" concept is broader than the prediction of strong ai and can refer to several distinct sub-meanings. Like with most ideas, there's a lot of fantasy and exaggeration associated with "the singularity but at least the core idea that technology will progress at an accelerating rate for some time to come, absent major setbacks, is not particularly controversial. Exponential growth is the standard model in economics, and while this can't continue forever, it has been a robust pattern throughout human and even pre-human history. Miri emphasizes ai for a good reason: At the end of the day, the long-term future of our galaxy will be dictated by ai, not by biotech, nanotech, or other lower-level systems. Ai is the "brains of the operation." Of course, this doesn't automatically imply that ai should be the primary focus of our attention. Maybe other revolutionary technologies or social forces will come first and deserve higher priority. In practice, i think focusing on ai specifically seems quite important even relative to competing scenarios, but it's good to explore many areas in parallel to at least a shallow depth. In addition, i don't see a sharp distinction between "AI" and other fields.
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There were stylistic differences, such as computer science's focus on cross-validation and bootstrapping summary instead of testing parametric models - made possible because computers can run data-intensive operations that were inaccessible to statisticians in the 1800s. But overall, this work didn't seem like the kind of "real" intelligence that people talked about for general. This attitude began to change as I learned more cognitive science. Before 2008, my ideas about human cognition were vague. Like most science-literate people, i believed the brain was a product of physical processes, including firing patterns of neurons. But I lacked further insight into what the black box of brains might contain. This led me to be apple confused about what "free will" meant until mid-2008 and about what "consciousness" meant until late 2009. Cognitive science showed me that the brain was in fact very much like a computer, at least in the sense of being a deterministic information-processing device with distinct algorithms and modules.
In 2006 I discovered Nick bostrom and Eliezer Yudkowsky, and I began to follow the organization then called the singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (siai which is now. I took siai's ideas more seriously than Kurzweil's, but I remained embarrassed to mention the organization because the first word in siai's name sets off "insanity alarms" in listeners. I began to study machine learning in order to get a business better grasp of the ai field, and in fall 2007, i switched my college major to computer science. As I read textbooks and papers about machine learning, i felt as though "narrow AI" was very different from the strong-ai fantasies that people painted. "AI programs are just a bunch of hacks i thought. "This isn't intelligence; it's just people using computers to manipulate data and perform optimization, and they dress it up as 'ai' to make it sound sexy." Machine learning in particular seemed to be just a computer scientist's version of statistics. Neural networks were just an elaborated form of logistic regression.
so there is not very much written about ethical machines". Fortunately, this may be changing. Is "the singularity" crazy? In fall 2005, a friend pointed me to ray kurzweil's. The Age of Spiritual Machines. This was my first introduction to "singularity" ideas, and I found the book pretty astonishing. At the same time, much of it seemed rather implausible. In line with the attitudes of my peers, i assumed that Kurzweil was crazy and that while his ideas deserved further inspection, they should not be taken at face value.
Expanding dialogue and challenging us-vs.-them prejudices could be valuable. Other versions of this piece *several of the new written sections of this piece are absent from the podcast because i recorded it a lined while back. Contents, this piece contains some observations on what looks to be potentially a coming machine revolution in Earth's history. For general background reading, a good place to start is wikipedia's article on the technological singularity. I am not an expert on all the arguments in this field, and my views remain very open to change with new information. In the face of epistemic disagreements with other very smart observers, it makes sense to grant some credence to a variety of viewpoints. Each person brings unique contributions to the discussion by virtue of his or her particular background, experience, and intuitions. To date, i have not found a detailed analysis of how those who are moved more by preventing suffering than by other values should approach singularity issues. This seems to me a serious gap, and research on this topic deserves high priority.
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First written: ; last update: 10 biography Apr. Summary, artificial intelligence (AI) will transform the world later this century. I expect this transition will be a "soft takeoff" in which many sectors of society update together in response to incremental ai developments, though the possibility of a harder takeoff in which a single ai project "goes foom" shouldn't be ruled out. If a rogue ai gained control of Earth, it would proceed to accomplish its goals by colonizing the galaxy and undertaking some very interesting achievements in science and engineering. On the other hand, it would not necessarily respect human values, including the value of preventing the suffering of less powerful creatures. Whether a rogue-ai scenario would entail more expected suffering than other scenarios is a question to explore further. Regardless, the field of ai ethics and policy seems to be a very important space where altruists can make a positive-sum impact along many dimensions.