The reason, perhaps, that Bostrom’s demonstration of the probability of God’s existence has received so little attention and notice (especially as compared to the stir and commotion caused by his demonstration of the probability that we live in a simulation, and despite the fact that both conclusions are entailed by the exact same line of argument) is because readers have failed to note the connection between Bostrom’s simulator and God.
The thing about the Basilisk that makes it so scary is its combination of vast power with certain both human and mechanical weaknesses. It is designed by human beings to be the greatest and most benevolent force in the universe, but all we can gift it is our best guess at an ultimate rational moral standard, utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest number. And as a machine, it administrates this implacably, and entirely without mercy. Roko’s Basilisk is scary because it is simultaneously our parent and our child.
The paired opposite to reductionism is called emergentism, and in recent years it has begun to gain an increasing number of advocates. In summary, it means that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Unexpected behaviors and properties can emerge, even from simple well-understood parts, at high enough levels of organization… Some of the ways emergentists have proposed creating artificial intelligence include building or simulating artificial neural nets, or using quantum computers, which take advantage of wave-particle duality and superimposition to perform fuzzy logic. Others reject the entire idea of shortcuts to emulating human intelligence, in favor of simply duplicating the entire fine structure of the human brain in virtual form –something not possible today, but perhaps in the future.
At root, Bostrom’s argument hinges around a single controversial question. Is it possible to truly create or simulate a person? Is there any point, with any level of technology, no matter how advanced, that this becomes possible?
We left off last week with the question of how much weight we should give to Nick Bostrom’s argument that we are not only possibly simulated, but likely to be so. This argument, or at least our representation of it, rests on two key claims: first, that our descendants will be able to create people just like ourselves; and second, that they will create a lot of them. The argument is compelling only in the case that both are true.
Wes discusses the film with philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson. What is there to fear in artificial intelligence? How does this shed light on what it means to be fully human?
Wes discusses the Steven Spielberg film with philosophy professor David Kyle Johnson. What is there to fear in artificial intelligence? How does this shed light on what it means to be fully human?
Researchers at MIT are pooling our moral intuitions, and we need to talk about it.
What does the film Ex Machina have to do the deus ex machina as plot device?
“The Second Renaissance” is a must watch for Sci-fi and philosophy nerds alike. It’s the perfect gateway drug for discussions of human intelligence, ego, historic recurrence, phenomenology, and a dozen other philosophical topics that are not hurt by their inclusion in a robot war.
To construct a superintelligence, we would have to understand human intelligence at a deep level. It’s doubtful we’ll ever be able to do this.
On Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, and Strategies (2014) with the author. What can we predict about, and how can we control in advance, the motivations of the entity likely to result from eventual advances in machine learning? Also with guest Luke Muehlhauser.
On Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, and Strategies (2014) with the author. What can we predict about, and how can we control in advance, the motivations of the entity likely to result from eventual advances in machine learning? Also with guest Luke Muehlhauser. Learn more.
End song: “Volcano,” by Mark Linsenmayer, recorded in 1992 and released on the album Spanish Armada: Songs of Love and Related Neuroses.
We interviewed Nick Bostrom on his book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. How can philosophers stop robots from killing us all?
Jay Jeffers just can’t shake his first impression of “Her,” a story set against the backdrop of artificial intelligence.
[Brad is a frequent contributor to our Facebook page, so we invited him to post on the blog – welcome him!] I found this to be an interesting video which relates to both the Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty episodes. In the video, Hubert Dreyfus discusses Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and the philosophical implications for artificial intelligence. Dreyfus has long been a critic of Continue Reading …
I had been thinking about the PEL debate on the value of higher education, and came across this compelling story by Damon Horowitz. Did you know that Google has an “in-house philosopher”? Horowitz shares his personal story of self-transformation in this article for the Chronicle of Higher Education. With a background in software engineering, he had developed a career in Continue Reading …