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7/17/2017 by mdc
Arend Hintze opines that as an artificial intelligence researcher, he often comes across the idea that many people are afraid of what AI might bring. It is perhaps unsurprising, given both history and the entertainment industry, that we might be afraid of a cybernetic takeover that forces us to live locked away, Matrix-like, as some sort of human battery.

And yet it is difficult for him to look up from the evolutionary computer models he uses to develop AI, to think about how the innocent virtual creatures on his screen might become the monsters of the future. Might he become the destroyer of worlds, as Oppenheimer lamented after spearheading the construction of the first nuclear bomb?

He would take the fame, he posits, but perhaps the critics are right. Maybe he should not avoid asking, as an AI expert, what does he fear about artificial intelligence?

The HAL 9000 computer, dreamed up by science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke and brought to life by movie director Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey, is a good example of a system that fails because of unintended consequences. In many complex systems, the RMS Titanic, NASA space shuttle, the Russian Chernobyl nuclear power plant, engineers layer many different components together. The designers may have known well how each element worked individually, but didn't know enough about how they all worked together. That resulted in systems that could never be completely understood, and could fail in unpredictable ways. In each disaster, sinking a ship, blowing up two shuttles, and competition and expediency of a nation that killed responders and created radioactive contamination, a set of relatively small failures combined together to create a catastrophe.

He sees how we could fall into the same trap in AI research. We look at the latest research from cognitive science, translate that into an algorithm and add it to an existing system. We try to engineer AI without understanding intelligence or cognition first.

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Open Resource  |  2017/07/17  |  36 Report Broken   Tell Friend

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