“Both Singularitarians and AItheists are mistaken. As Turing clearly stated in the 1950 article that introduced his test, the question ‘Can a machine think?’ is ‘too meaningless to deserve discussion’. (Ironically, or perhaps presciently, that question is engraved on the Loebner Prize medal.) This holds true, no matter which of the two Churches you belong to. Yet both Churches continue this pointless debate, suffocating any dissenting voice of reason.”
“More than 2 million people were employed as accountants, bookkeepers, and auditors in 2015. Until now, these types of information-oriented professions have resisted automation because they require managing unstructured data emanating from the real world, making judgments, and dealing with actual people. What’s different now, however, is that artificial intelligence’s perceptive capabilities have improved. Machines can now handle images, sounds, and text in a way that enables them to ingest and analyze data at high volume, without making costly mistakes. Between accounting professionals and truck drivers alone, about 4.5 million human jobs could be ceded to robots over the next few years.”
“Compulsions are rarely harmless. The internet is not the opioid crisis; it is not likely to kill you (unless you’re hit by a distracted driver) or leave you ravaged and destitute. But it requires you to focus intensely, furiously, and constantly on the ephemera that fills a tiny little screen, and experience the traditional graces of existence — your spouse and friends and children, the natural world, good food and great art — in a state of perpetual distraction.”
“In his early teens, Koene began to conceive of the major problem with the human brain in computational terms: it was not, like a computer, readable and rewritable. You couldn’t get in there and enhance it, make it run more efficiently, like you could with lines of code. You couldn’t just speed up a neuron like you could with a computer processor.”
“Newspapers and magazines used to have a rather coarse model of their audience. It used to be that they couldn’t be sure how many people read each of their articles; they couldn’t see on a dashboard how much social traction one piece got as against the others. They were more free to experiment, because it was never clear ex-ante what kind of article was likely to fail. This could, of course, lead to deeply indulgent work that no one would read; but it could also lead to unexpected magic.”
“Amazon is introducing us to a new computing interface — a voice devoid of a screen—that will eventually grow to be more ubiquitous and more useful than our smartphones. Forget the onerous process of pulling your Pixel or iPhone from your pocket, unlocking it, opening apps, and tapping your desires onto a screen. (Ugh!) Soon, you’ll speak your wants into the air — anywhere — and a woman’s warm voice with a mid-Atlantic accent will talk back to you, ready to fulfill your commands.”
“Income inequality is a well recognized problem. The gap between the rich and poor has grown over the last few decades, but it became increasingly pronounced after the 2008 financial crisis. While economists debate the extent to which technology plays a role in global inequality, most agree that tech advances have exacerbated the problem.
In an interview with the MIT Tech Review, economist Erik Brynjolfsson said, “My reading of the data is that technology is the main driver of the recent increases in inequality. It’s the biggest factor.”
Which begs the question: what happens as automation and AI technologies become more advanced and capable?”
“MR. JACOBSTEIN: Just since the beginning of 2017 we’ve seen a team at Northwestern develop an AI that could solve the Raven Progressive Matrices Test, an intelligence test of visual and analogical reasoning, better than the average American.
We also have seen a team at Imperial College London develop an AI that could diagnose pulmonary hypertension better than cardiologists typically do. Cardiologists have about 60% accuracy. This system does 80% accuracy. And in January of this year, Tuomas Sandholm and Noam Brown from Carnegie Mellon University developed a poker player called Libratus, which beat four of the world champion poker players, and not by just a little bit. They played 120,000 hands of poker, and Libratus ended up with $1.77 million in poker chips. This is a big deal, because it signals the ability to deal with incomplete information and to deal with situations that require bluffing and an opponent that generates misinformation. That is a really important set of skills. It will lend itself to negotiation, to strategy development, and perhaps even to policy analysis.”
As you can imagine I don't quite agree with that summary: intelligence matters more than consciousness??
“But with robots making and killing things better than we can, who needs people? Intelligence will matter more than consciousness. “What’s so sacred about useless bums who pass their days devouring artificial experiences” in virtual reality?”
“This, he says, leads to a conveyor-belt approach – “people who were seen as residents, all of a sudden, they’re seen as consumers, as clients that are consuming services, and the local government is the service provider.””