January 16, 2016 Fringe, Podcast 2 Comments

Episode 111

Artificial Intelligence:  Hype, Hope, or Hell coming at us fast, by our own hand?

In Episode #111, Jesse speaks with futurist and author Calum Chase about his book Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence, and the increasing impacts of artificial intelligence on the world’s business and society — and the future of humanity itself.

The prospect of creating a true “AGI” (Artificial General Intelligence) capable of matching human-level thinking is probably the most transformative tech possibility in the coming decades.  Nothing would be unaffected.  Just imagine being able to mass-produce competent adult-level minds without needing to wait for the decades-long process of physical growth and education…

But that’s ignoring the more exciting/terrifying piece of the AI speculation game: If we can figure out how to manufacture human-level cognitive performance, there’s no reason to suspect that at that point, the sky is not the limit.  (Jesse writes at length about that topic here.)

Buckle up for a conversation that is both sober and mind-bending — covering topics from Technological Unemployment to how we can guarantee the morality of political systems when we don’t know for sure which intelligences are actually conscious.

And hang around — if you dare — for a Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick about one of the most taboo subjects on the Internet: A rationalist, secular recipe for Hell (or something close).

Episode Highlights

0:23Surviving AI by Calum Chase
2:04 This Week In Neuroscience: A Man's Hyper-Religiosity Was A Symptom Of Brain Atrophy
2:53The audience interaction section.
6:09Hungry for some Brain Breakfast?
7:46An introduction to Calum Chase and his body of work.
8:28Why is knowledge of A.I. becoming much more mainstream recently?
11:25Best and worst case scenarios for emerging A.I. in the near future.
14:31The future of digital assistants: Siri's descendants, "Her", and falling in love with A.I.
18:46The difference between "intelligence" and "consciousness"
22:52 The Paperclip Maximizer
26:31In defence of Ray Kurzweil's optimism.
29:11What options does the average human have in the face of A.I. becoming mainstream?
35:04Will there be one technological superintelligence, or several?
38:22"We need to stay the smartest species on the planet, and the way we do that is by uploading our brains into computers."
40:33Science fiction versus our burgeoning reality
41:49Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: Roko's basilisk [Note: Please listen to Jesse's warning beforehand - subject matter might be unsettling for some listeners.]

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Written by Jesse Lawler
Jesse Lawler is a technologist, health nut, entrepreneur, and "one whose power switch defaults to On."  He created Smart Drug Smarts to learn how to make his brain do even more, and is greatly pleased to now see his little baby Frankenstein toddling around and helping others.  Jesse tweets about personal optimization, tech, and other stuff he finds interesting at @Lawlerpalooza.