The New York Post writes something coherent about A.I. in anticipation of Watson vs. Jeopardy’s super-champions (I was shocked too!).
The things we thought were hard turned out to be easier. Early A.I. research concentrated on what seemed to be difficult intellectual tasks, such as playing grandmaster level chess, or proving theorems in integral calculus. But it turned out that these examples of logical thinking are actually not so difficult for a computer to duplicate; all it takes is a few well-defined rules and a lot of computing power. In contrast, tasks that we at first thought were easy turned out to be hard. A toddler (or a dog) can distinguish hundreds of objects (ball, bottle, blanket, mother, etc.) just by glancing at them, but it turned out to be very difficult to build a computer vision system that performs at this level.
The partnership between human and machine is stronger than either one alone. As Werner von Braun said when he was asked what sort of computer should be put onboard in future space missions, “Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft, and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor.” There is no need to replace humans; rather, we should think of what tools will make them more productive.
Bioethics is controversial.
No one endorses the ideas or concepts explored here, not even me.
You will develop a strong opinion about something you find here. I want to hear it. Philosophy is a conversation.
popbioethics [at] gmail [dot] com
Long Form ArticlesWhy Mass Effect is the most Important Science Fiction Universe of our Generation