Tag: Artificial Intelligence

In the latest episode, the Young Americans get super nerdy, with the help of real-life tech policy researcher Caleb Watney of the R Street Institute. He and Jack discuss the virtues of free markets vs. Millennial skepticism thereof, question the emerging conventional wisdom on tech addiction and Silicon Valley, rebut the Unabomber (!), and go full nerd with semi-related digressions about Blade RunnerThe Matrix, and, of course, Dune.

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The Evangelical Statement on Artificial Intelligence can be found here. When the Nashville statement came out I enthusiastically signed it. I have not regretted that decision. I now think that some of its detractors made better criticisms than I realized at the time. Preston Sprinkle is not numbered among them, his thoughts were well intentioned […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Build a Brain (Part 1) – The Challenge

 

How do you build a brain? How should I know? I’ve never built a brain. But I did spend a whole lot of time once thinking about how to do it.

In the mid-nineties, I was working for a software company in Dallas that did software for insurance administration. I was rolling off of the second project I had done there, starting my new job as Research Manager. This was technically a division level job, but my division actually consisted of me, and a part-time admin that I shared with the core Development group. My mandate was to explore various new technologies, in the expectation that at least some of what I did would prove useful and could be integrated into a future product. The projects that I had done are significant, because they had led me directly to the first request I got, and thus into my quest for a brain.

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In 1950 Alan Turing devised the Turing Test. A test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. In 2017 a neural network machine learning program developed by Google called CycleGAN may have arguably passed the Turing Test with flying colours. The program’s purpose was to […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Predicting Elections Using A.I. and Machine Learning

 

Here’s a set of stats from the 2016 election you may not know:

  • Trump received 2 million more votes than Governor Romney.
  • Hillary Clinton received 62K fewer votes than President Obama.

Obviously, a shift happened over four years which favored Donald Trump. Which demographic factors motivated that shift? More importantly, is there something we can project for the 2018 and 2020 elections?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Artificial Intelligence and the Brilliant Idiot

 

My phone buzzed while my watch thumped my wrist. I was in a meeting and so made a surreptitious glance at my wrist. My wife was calling and I declined the call, knowing that if it was urgent she would either leave a message or send me a text. The text came through a few minutes later, asking if I wanted to join her for lunch. I waited until the meeting had ended, and until I had taken care of other business that had piled up, before finally messaging her back about when I would be free. We had our lunch date, but as we were leaving I pulled out my phone to check on my work emails, and there on the lock screen was a “Siri Suggestion” that I return my wife’s call from an hour and half before. Siri is a brilliant idiot. Brilliant enough to guess that I should probably call my wife back, then put that as a suggestion right on the lock screen, but idiotic enough to not know that the suggestion was unwelcome and unnecessary.

Over the last couple of iterations in Apple’s IOS (the operating system used in their mobile devices), Apple has layered in assorted habit-gathering machine-learning routines into Siri, its smooth-voiced “Digital Personal Assistant”. The latest iteration of IOS, version 12, has extended these habit-watching routines to the point where, by default, they constantly monitor what you do and where you do it, then attempt to build macros of commands to automate and guide those habits. The suggestion that I return the call to my wife was based on the phone having observed that I do usually return calls to my wife, but had not yet done so in this case.

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Arthur C Clarke famously said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Likewise, any sufficiently advanced automation will be mistaken for life. Recently, I watched Netflix’s Altered Carbon series, based on the science fiction novel by Richard K Morgan. The core premise is that the essence of humanity is intelligence or consciousness alone. Therefore, […]

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Who watches the Watchmen? The Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, 1986. More

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. AI and a Very Idealistic Description of Evil

 

Being interested in Artificial Intelligence, when I ran across this article in The Atlantic I was hoping to find something interesting. The article focuses on Judea Pearl, an AI researcher who pioneered Bayesian (calling Midget Faded Rattlesnake) networks for machine leaning. Pearl is disappointed that most AI research nowadays is centered around his previous bailiwick of machine learning (what he calls fancy curve fitting) and not around his new interest, which is around causal reasoning models.

This is all well and good and somewhat interesting, however near the end of the article he and the interviewer talk about free will and have the following exchange about evil.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. AI is the Transformational Technology of Our Age … If Businesses Ever Adopt It

 

As I’ve blogged about at length in this space, the US economy won’t see sustained growth unless we can boost productivity. And there are a few different theories out there for why productivity growth has been so sluggish since the mid-2000s. Maybe ideas are becoming harder to find, maybe productivity has increased and we aren’t measuring it correctly, or maybe productivity growth is here but it’s just not evenly distributed yet.

If that last theory is correct, and there’s some reason to think it is (per a Commerce Department study, the digital sector has grown at an average annual rate of 5.6% over the last decade, compared to 1.5% overall), then the relevant question for policymakers is how to get these innovations to spread throughout the rest of the economy. That’s where the new McKinsey report “Notes from the AI Frontier” comes in. “Artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a transformational technology of our digital age,” they write, and after studying 400 different use cases across 19 different industries, they estimate AI can “potentially enable the creation of between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value annually” — if its use is broadly adopted.

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Bill shares his thoughts on President Trump’s important opioid address and explains how we can win the war on drugs. Then Bill interviews Byron York about the remarkable and growing scandal regarding Hillary Clinton, the FBI and the “Trump dossier.” Finally, Bill has a fascinating, in-depth conversation with David Gelernter about Trump’s presidency, artificial intelligence and the future of America and technology.

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Need a break from the insanity and idiocy of politics and the news? The following are recommendations for free viewing on Amazon Prime, for those of you (and me) who may not have gotten around to seeing some of these films in a theater; or they were films with very limited theatrical release: More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Saturday Night Science: The Singularity

 

“The Singularity”, Uziel Awret, ed.For more than half a century, the prospect of a technological singularity has been part of the intellectual landscape of those envisioning the future. In 1965, in a paper titled “Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine” statistician I. J. Good wrote,

Let an ultra-intelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all of the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an “intelligence explosion”, and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.

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This is the third volume in the author’s Singularity Series which began with Avogadro Corp. and continued with A.I. Apocalypse. Each novel in the series is set ten years after the one before, so this novel takes place in 2035. The previous novel chronicled the AI war of 2025, whose aftermath the public calls the “Year […]

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I spent over 40 years in the tech industry, 30 of those in Silicon Valley, and heard the artificial intelligence (AI) promoters and automation pessimists the whole time. If the phrases ‘symbolic reasoning’, ’expert systems’, ‘4th Generation’ or ’neural nets’ ring a bell, you’ve been along on the same ride. Each computer generation brought a […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Saturday Night Science: The Age of Em

 

“The Age of Em” by Robin HansonMany books, both fiction and nonfiction, have been devoted to the prospects for and consequences of the advent of artificial intelligence: machines with a general cognitive capacity which equals or exceeds that of humans. While machines have already surpassed the abilities of the best humans in certain narrow domains (for example, playing games such as chess or go), you can’t take a chess playing machine and expect it to be even marginally competent at a task as different as driving a car or writing a short summary of a newspaper story, things most humans can do with a little experience. A machine with “artificial general intelligence” (AGI) would be as adaptable as humans, and able with practice to master a wide variety of skills.

The usual scenario is that continued exponential progress in computing power and storage capacity, combined with better understanding of how the brain solves problems, will eventually reach a cross-over point where artificial intelligence matches human capability. But since electronic circuitry runs so much faster than the chemical signalling of the brain, even the first artificial intelligences will be able to work much faster than people, and, applying their talents to improving their own design at a rate much faster than human engineers can work, will result in an “intelligence explosion,” where the capability of machine intelligence runs away and rapidly approaches the physical limits of computation, far surpassing human cognition. Whether the thinking of these super-minds will be any more comprehensible to humans than quantum field theory is to a goldfish and whether humans will continue to have a place in this new world and, if so, what it may be, has been the point of departure for much speculation.

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Ninety-Nine Fishbein (“Fish”) had reached the peak of the pyramid. After spending five years creating his magnum opus multiplayer game, Island Pirates, it had been acquired outright for sixty-five million by gaming colossus WonderSoft, who included an option for his next project. By joining WonderSoft, he gained access to its legendary and secretive Design Core, […]

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Saturday Night Science is on summer vacation until September, but I’ll occasionally post short notes on interesting things I come across in science and technology. This week’s is a Web site which uses deep learning technology to produce a full colour image from a monochrome image input. To use it, visit the site, enter the […]

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Elite: Dangerous is a space simulation game in which players pilot ships to mine and trade, explore the galaxy, police smugglers and pirates, or become smugglers and pirates. It includes plenty of NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) operated by artificial intelligence to compete with players. From Julian Benson at Kotaku UK:  More

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Unless you’re a gamer, you probably have not heard of Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games’ upcoming product for the Playstation 4 console, the story is set a thousand years into the future and proceeds from a fascinating premise. Typically, science fiction involving “the rise of the machines” — domination of humanity by independent AI (use whatever […]

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