Day 4: Missing the forest for the trees: Is alarm about AI justified? | Samantha Bates | August 09, 2017

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Day 4: Missing the forest for the trees: Is alarm about AI justified?

by Samantha Bates Show/Hide
  1. 1 Show/Hide More "Our Fear of Artificial Intelligence" by Paul Ford (MIT Technology Review, February 11, 2015).
    Notes:
    This piece provides a good overview of the central arguments of Nick Bostrom’s book, Superintelligence, and explains why many others share his alarm about AI. The author suggests that we may be able to avoid harmful consequences if we design AI to respect human interests and values.
  2. 2 Show/Hide More "Can we Build AI without Losing Control Over It?" by Sam Harris (June 2016).
    Notes:
    Sam Harris echoes Nick Bostrom’s concerns about AI and focuses on the lack of concern expressed by AI supporters and the general public about AI and the future of human civilization. According to Harris, the development of superintelligent machines is inevitable. He proposes that we think about how to build superintelligent AI that respects humans and shares our interests. Given what we’ve read and discussed, do you think superintelligent AI is inevitable? How should we mitigate the risks that Harris identifies?
  3. 3 Show/Hide More "Why Zuckerberg and Musk are Fighting About the Robot Future" by Ian Bogost (The Atlantic, July 27, 2017).
    Notes:
    Bogost points out that the recent back and forth between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk about whether we should be worried or excited about AI is mainly fueled by Zuckerberg’s and Musk’s business interests. Does this perspective change your opinion about ongoing debates about the future of AI?
  4. 4 Show/Hide More "A Blueprint For Coexistence with Artificial Intelligence" by Kai-Fu Lee (Wired, July 12, 2017).
    Notes:
    This article offers the opposite perspective and claims that our quality of life will improve if we can find a way to work with machines. The author acknowledges that machines will displace many human workers, but maintains that there will always be a need for humans because of our capacity to love and connect emotionally with one another. How can machines work with humans rather than against them and how can we best address concerns about the impact of AI on the job market?
  5. 5 Show/Hide More "How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love A.I." by Robert Burton (The New York Times, September 21, 2015).
    Notes:
    The author points out that machine intelligence stems primarily from computing power. Machines may be able to outwit humans when it comes to quantifiable data, but they will always lack emotional intelligence. Will machines eventually develop emotional intelligence and how would it impact our society?
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August 09, 2017

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Samantha Bates

Research Associate

Harvard Law School, Berkman Center

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