Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"What is my purpose?"

The engrossing report on scifi this afternoon, and our talk of toaster-bots etc., reminded me of this little scene. (Toast, butter, robots... the connections are obvious, right?)

For what it's worth:

All of our reports today were good: Comics, God, Socrates/Plato, Thomas More, scifi. Can't wait for next week's!
Postscript. We'll return to the subject of AI at semester's end, when we discuss Alan Turing and his intelligence "test." This might be worth a look:
It is not often that you are obliged to proclaim a much-loved international genius wrong, but in the alarming prediction made recently regarding Artificial Intelligence and the future of humankind, I believe Professor Stephen Hawking is. Well to be precise, being a theoretical physicist — in an echo of Schrödinger’s cat, famously both dead and alive at the same time — I believe the Professor is both wrong and right at the same time.
Wrong because there are strong grounds for believing that computers will never be able to replicate all human cognitive faculties and right because even such emasculated machines may still pose a threat to humanity’s future existence; an existential threat, so to speak.
In an interview on December 2, 2014 Rory Cellan-Jones asked how far engineers had come along the path towards creating artificial intelligence, and slightly worryingly Professor Hawking, replied “Once humans develop artificial intelligence it would take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Although grabbing headlines, such predictions are not new in the world of science and science fiction.. (The danger of artificial stupidity, continues) 


  1. "Scientifically, traditions are an idiot thing"

    That made me laugh pretty hard

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  3. Sec 8 group 2
    F(Q): What does the illusion argument threaten? (P104)
    D(Q): How do you think society would be like without any laws ?