"The book's title refers to a third phase in evolutionary history. For almost 4 billion years, both hardware (bodies) and software (capacity for generating behaviour) were fixed by biology. For the next 100,000 years, learning and culture enabled humans to adapt and control their own software. In the imminent third phase, both software and hardware can be redesigned. This may sound like transhumanism — the movement to re-engineer body and brain — but Tegmark's focus is on AI, which supplements mental capabilities with external devices.Artificial intelligence: The future is superintelligent : Nature : Nature Research
Tegmark considers both risks and benefits. Near-term risks include an arms race in autonomous weapons and dramatic reductions in employment. The AI community is practically unanimous in condemning the creation of machines that can choose to kill humans, but the issue of work has sparked debate. Many predict an economic boon — AI inspiring new jobs to replace old, as with previous industrial revolutions. Tegmark wryly imagines two horses discussing the rise of the internal combustion engine in 1900. One predicts “new jobs for horses ... That's what's always happened before, like with the invention of the wheel and the plow.” For most horses, alas, the “new job” was to be pet food. Tegmark's analysis is compelling, and shared by economists such as Paul Krugman. But the question remains: what desirable economy might we aim for, when most of what we now call work is done by machines?"
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Artificial intelligence: The future is superintelligent : Nature : Nature Research
Also see A physicist explores the future of artificial intelligence (Science); if you're going to be in the Boston area 9/15, also consider A Reno Family Foundation Symposium – Life 3.0 at the Museum of Science, with Max Tegmark and Erik Brynjolfsson (free, but tickets required)