Chapter 15 Is Artificial Intelligence Real?

The robots are coming, and they’re coming fast. In this fascinating Fresh Air interview, tech writer John Markoff talks about several ways that intelligent machines are likely to profoundly change our lives over the next few years. From self-driving cars to peopleless warehouses, intelligent machines will play major roles in shaping our world. He makes a critical distinction between artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligence augmentation (IA), two schools of research that take radically different approaches to the relationship between humans and machines. As a bonus, the interview ends with what is probably the funniest robot song ever recorded.

npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/08/20/433000643/how-close-are-we-really-to-a-robot-run-society

 

Be the first to comment

We generally think about digital technology as something that’s outside of us. I think there’s a clear boundary between me and my technology. But that boundary is getting fuzzier all the time. In this fascinating talk to the Long Now Foundation, science fiction writer Ramez Naam makes a compelling case that the boundary is about to disappear forever. He discusses cutting edge research in many related fields and the ethical implications of that research as it finds its way into our products and our bodies.

The Long Now Foundation hosts an excellent series monthly talks related to its important mission of helping us see the long view; this is part of that ongoing series. While you’re on their site, take some time to look for other gems.

Be the first to comment

The Job Market Looks Great if You’re a Robot

May 19, 2015

More jobs every day are being automated—done by machines rather than humans. In this thought-provoking Fresh Air interview, Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that all kinds of jobs—even many that we assume are machine-proof—are threatened by advances in hardware and software. The implications for our economy and our society are far-reaching.

Read the full article →

How Are Computers Changing Us?

February 17, 2015

This is a big question with a multitude of answers. NPR’s new program/podcast Invisibilia answers with three stories. The first one looks at the big picture with questions about artificial intelligence, wearable computers, and the possibilities for human/computer co-evolution. The other two stories look at specific, personal, right-now examples of human character changes as a result of digital technology.

Read the full article →

Deep Learning: Artificial Intelligence Breakthroughs that Will Change Your Life

January 6, 2015

For decades researchers have experimented with machine learning—software that can improve with experience without being reprogrammed. That research has paid off in a number of applications, including the intelligent search engines that we use every day. But recent breakthroughs in a field called deep learning are likely to bring radical transformations to our lives very soon.

Read the full article →

The Military Internet Complex and the Invisible War

November 20, 2014

War and technology have been intertwined throughout human history. Today’s digital technology is creating a whole new form of war that’s all but invisible to most of us. In his book @War, Shane Harris describes the war that’s waged on the Internet and describes the relationship between government and the tech industry that makes that war possible. In this NPR Fresh Air program he’s interviewed by Terry Gross.

Read the full article →

Drone’s Eye Views

August 22, 2014

Drones are, in essence, flying robots, capable of carrying out all kinds of tasks, from acts of war to acts of art. This Huffington Post article focuses on the use of drones to capture video footage that would be difficult or impossible to get by conventional means.

Read the full article →

Can Computers be Intelligent without Feelings?

July 10, 2014

You may have heard the headlines: a computer passed the Turing test, fooling some judges into thinking it was a human. This short piece by NPR’s Goeff Nunberg puts the event into perspective, explaining why he believes that the machines we use aren’t anything like the compelling operating system portrayed by Scarlett Johansen in the film Her.

Read the full article →

Watson goes from TV Gaming to Lifesaving

October 23, 2013

IBM’s Watson hasn’t been sitting on its circuits since it won the special Jeopardy! championship game in 2011. This Wired article describes how doctors are putting Watson to work as an expert advisor to help them diagnose cancer and save lives.

Read the full article →

Drones Don’t Have a Right to Privacy

June 27, 2013

The robot drone is rapidly changing the face of war—and peace. In this gripping TED talk Daniel Suarez describes the very real—and very scary—threats robotic weapons pose to civilized society. He makes a compelling case for an international treaty on robotic arms control and a global ban on killer robots.

Read the full article →