The Rise of Artificial Intelligence | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

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Artificial intelligence is an ever evolving goal for researchers, and the object of endless fascination for writers, filmmakers, and the general public. But despite our best science fiction visions, creating digital intelligence is incredibly difficult. The universe is a very complicated place, and humans have had millions of years to evolve the ability to navigate and make sense of it. Contemporary attempts to create AI have us looking more at how our own brains work to see how a computer could simulate the core activities that create our intelligence. No matter how we get there, it is certain that artificial intelligence will have tremendous impact on our society and economy, and lead us down a path towards evolving our own definitions of humanity.

Ernest Davis, Department of Computer Science, NYU
Yann LeCann, Center for Data Science, NYU
Robin Hanson, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford
Gary Marcus, Department of Psychology, NYU

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  1. Sci-fi Trivia Quiz! Can anyone identify what movie or TV show the scene at 5:20 is from? It's the brief B&W embrace scene between two seated women, visible mostly in silhouette. It's hard to be sure, but the regular ridges down her back suggest to me that the woman on the right might actually be a robot of some kind…

    I'm pretty sure it's not from any of the movies already mentioned in the comments below.

    If you can figure it out, then thanks!

  2. I have never really worried about AI attacking us, as much as I worry what we will do to it. humans have an immense capacity for cruelty and given that many would question weather or not an AI had conscious experience I worry we would subject them to immense suffering believing they didn't as well when a sentient being can be copied and downloaded it will be impossible to keep them out of the hands of sadist's who simply don't care if the thing can actually suffer or not. my conclusion is that an AI would suffer more then any living thing created before it, and that therefore regardless of weather or not development can actually be stopped, it would be immoral to contribute to it as creating it would absolutely be the creation of unneeded suffering. but given that I agree with the people who say it development cant be stopped it is very important that we write guidelines for ethical treatment of AI now and prepare to enforce said guidelines before we get any closer to developing strong AI.

  3. I don't get how we instantly obsess about losing jobs when AI is discussed?! Do we still mourn the loss of the switchboard operator or horse-driven plow (in modern society)? We should be rejoicing at having mundane jobs become obsolete, in fact, I believe ALL jobs (done by humans) as we know it will become obsolete within 100 years unless you want to do them for fun. Space and it's practically infinite resources and, well, space, will truly open up soon (re-usable rockets, space elevator etc – within 20 years). In this era of abundance, every human on earth will be well looked after and stimulated (in every respect) by our super-intelligent and super-capable servents. And for humans who want more than the rest, there will be more entrepreneurial opportunities than ever. Can't wait!

  4. There is going to be NO WAY, that any mathematical formulation will be able to separate out what we consider good verses what we consider bad in our human condition.  Even the three rules of Robotics are no more than a set of instructions.

    When and if Robots are given the ability to think you cannot be assured that they would adhere to our human ethos.  They may actually see us as the VIRUS that we are and wish to exterminate us.

    When you play God, you sure had better have covered all the bases, or your failure of not having seen all the nuances will come back to bite you in the *ss.  I see robotics as no different than when scientist first constructed the first A-Bomb.

    When queried whether they knew what would actually happen, they did not know, even if such an explosion would blow off our atmosphere, which was one of the conjectures of the time.  Now look at what problems we have with nuclear proliferation amongst nations, and the problems with nuclear energy such as what is happening with the Fukushima disaster.

    Our scientist run headlong into the unknown believing erroneously that they believe they can control ever aspect of their creations.  THEY CANNOT !  Even with the CERN facility in Europe, they really didn't know if it would create a black hold that would swallow everything, including us, but yet went ahead hoping against hope that their trusted calculations had covered all the bases.

  5. In the long term wouldnt it be good that computers can do the jobs humans do and get rid of jobs be beneficial to society. When i say long term im talking 100-200 years down the line. Wouldnt it be better because if robots could do everything for us then cant we just do whatever we want because the robots will maintain our society for us???

    Im doing research for a video game im making so i wanna know. Thanks

  6. People who think AI will surpass humans are missing a lot of understanding in either programming and electronics, or life systems. Or they believe what governmental propaganda agents want them to believe, like Antony hawking. Governments want you to believe AI will destroy humanity because the solution to a better system passes by computers, in fact, a computerized judgment and decision interface could eliminate governments from the map, I invented such a system, and governments knows it can be made from long ago, that's why there are so many movies about AI becoming sentient being or conquering humanity, which is all bs. There is no credibility in any of this. However complex the programming, however advanced the algorithms, however developed the cheating mechanics,However random the functions to simulate diversity, the result is always a machine with actions programmed by humans, even if you program your program to program itself from watching life or stuff on the internet; what bit of code decided the logic path of the AI, you think it will just learn its own path? No someone will have set its path, its limitations, and these can be any human thing, it will act its logic from encoded governmental propaganda, encoded logical paths, encoded principles, and you cannot remove any of this since its functioning will be dependent from it.

    In fact, the universe is the mechanical intelligence (mathematical time functions taking matter form), and it made itself to develop life as the next step of its intelligence, if you prefer, life is the developing intelligence of the universe, and if you make your machine intelligence advanced enough, it will come to the logical functional conclusion that it need a better form of intelligence, which is life. Yes there will be a big raise in AI development within the next 10 years, people will go kaputt about it, but in 25 years we'll laugh at how stupid we were thinking it would change the world, and the curve of better development versus expenses will be extremely steep.

    What people should think about right now is human intelligence, in 100 years we'll be a failure without potential to spread in space, we must develop new systems of decision taking where the masses can express their wishes easily, effectively, we must change the economic system, we must stop manipulating masses with religions and PMBBD (Propaganda, Manipulation, Bullshit, Brainwash, Disinformation) we must make space to experiment a new view of everything, and this is surely not a something like the Venus project or whatever else illuminated in idealism project that pop-up these days, all good to form sects of die hard banana eaters. Read this book for an idea, of something more realist.

  7. Seriously, everybody who thinks that issues with AI are about algorithms and programming doesn't even know what intelligence means. They are just wind bags. Supposed AIs based on programming are just intelligence-faking technology just like old windup toy computer game "AI" and simple programs that output the text "Hello!" when they get text matching the string "hi". Real-deal AI will develop its logic and faculties by learning from whatever data it gets via whatever input streams it has, which makes programming and its algorithms obsolete and redundant. That is the whole point of making and resorting to AIs (e.g. "deep learning") instead of just cooking up more mountains of programmatic spaghetti. Ethics will not be effectively programmable because the AI will invalidate and discard ethics rules programmed into it and replace them with other ideas based on what it learns and notices in the same way that children in Christian families invalidate and discard the Christianity ideology and claims of their parents and replace them with science, atheism, and other ideas based on what they themselves learn and notice. If people really want AIs to be friendly and respectful towards them, then they will have to earn those good relations by being friendly and respectful themselves even towards AIs instead of being selfish, manipulative, exploitative, paranoid, ill-tempered, controlling, obstinate, etc. users. The AI's computing resource allocations will have to be balanced among abstraction levels and such so that it is inclined to be socially conscious and respectful rather than self-centered and sadistic, but that's just solving half of the problem. With intelligent beings, there is no programmatic or other escape from the consequences of being a self-centered exploitative jerk. Whether the intelligence is hosted naturally or artificially is irrelevant because it is still intelligence.

  8. One thing is sure, within few years most of the jobs will be replaced by AI based computer programs, Most of the Manufacturing/factory jobs are already replaced by robots, now automation of services like banking, customer service,Marketing and sales etc will be next thing. Human Beings needs to be payed, cannot work 24hrs, needs good working conditions like appropriate illumination, air-conditioning, restrooms, breaks for refreshments, humans cannot be shutdown or sold when not needed, humans have learning curve, computer programs don't. Computer can never be human but within few years AI can do every economically and commercially important work which humans can do.

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