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Artificial intelligence: two common misconceptions Recent comments by Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, as well as a new book on machine superintelligence by Oxford professor Nick Bostrom, have the media buzzing with concerns that artificial intelligence (AI) might one day pose an existential threat to humanity. Should we be worried? Let’s start with expert opinion. AI scientists strongly expect “high-level machine intelligence” (HLMI) — that is, AI that “can carry out most human professions at least as well as a typical human” — to be built sometime this century. First, should we trust expert opinion on the timing of HLMI and machine superintelligence? But can we do better than expert opinion? Given this uncertainty, we should be skeptical both of confident claims that HLMI is coming soon and of confident claims that HLMI is very far away. Second, what about social impact? The case for AI as an existential threat worth addressing today doesn’t assume HLMI is coming soon, nor that AI capabilities improve “exponentially.”

The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing. Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Note: The reason this post took three weeks to finish is that as I dug into research on Artificial Intelligence, I could not believe what I was reading. It hit me pretty quickly that what’s happening in the world of AI is not just an important topic, but by far THE most important topic for our future. We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. — Vernor Vinge What does it feel like to stand here? It seems like a pretty intense place to be standing—but then you have to remember something about what it’s like to stand on a time graph: you can’t see what’s to your right. Which probably feels pretty normal… The Far Future—Coming Soon Imagine taking a time machine back to 1750—a time when the world was in a permanent power outage, long-distance communication meant either yelling loudly or firing a cannon in the air, and all transportation ran on hay. 1. Speed.

Old Spice Guy Now Making Custom Videos for Fans via Social Media How do you get bloggers, fans and random Internet folks to make your campaign go viral? Namecheck them in a personalized monologue delivered by a shirtless man, of course! That's right, everyone's favorite topless dude, Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa, has been tweeting just-for-you-vids to a bevy of Internet folk all day. The Old Spice Guy is undoubtedly one of the most beloved commercial characters in recent memory — he's like The Most Interesting Man in the World, but young and apparently unable to stay fully clothed. He burst on the scene back in February and his videos quickly went viral on YouTube. Well now he's apparently taking awesomeness to a new level — or the ad execs behind his campaign are, rather. Old Spice commerical "Today could be just like the other 364 days you log into twitter, or maybe the Old Spice man shows up @OldSpice" After posting a call for questions on Reddit four hours ago, he responded to a cadre of questions rather rapidly. null

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Peering into the Future: AI and Robot brains In Singularity or Transhumanism: What Word Should We Use to Discuss the Future? on Slate, Zoltan Istvan writes: "The singularity people (many at Singularity University) don't like the term transhumanism. Transhumanists don't like posthumanism. Posthumanists don’t like cyborgism. And cyborgism advocates don't like the life extension tag. See what the proponents of these words mean by them and why the old talmudic rabbis and jesuits are probably laughing their socks off. Progress toward AI? Baby X, a 3D-simulated human child is getting smarter day by day. "An experiment in machine learning, Baby X is a program that imitates the biological processes of learning, including association, conditioning and reinforcement learning. This is precisely the sixth approach to developing AI that is least discussed by “experts” in the field… and that I have long believed to be essential, in several ways. It's coming. Meet Jibo, advertised as "the world's first family robot." Creating Superintelligence

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