Mind Matters News and Analysis on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Robert J. Marks Talks Computers with Michael Medved

Computers can magnify what we do, he says, and that's the real threat
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Robert J. Marks

Recently, Robert J. Marks, director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, sat down with radio host and author Michael Medved to help sort through the confusion about what artificial intelligence can and can’t do, now and in the future.

Medved and Marks walk us through basic definitions — What is a computer? What is an algorithm? — before tackling some pervasive media myths. Can a computer innovate or only imitate? Can computers now really do anything different from the Turing Machine, devised as a model by Alan Turing in the 1930s? Could a computer be programmed to interact with humans like the sinister HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey? The answer is yes, says Bob Marks, and whatever flaws such a machine displayed would be the faults inadvertently woven into it by its human programmers. David Klinghoffer, “Great Minds: Robert Marks, Michael Medved on the Limits of Computation” at Evolution News and Science Today

Michael Medved

There’s little danger, he thinks, in computers ruling us but considerable danger that we can use them to magnify the impact of our errors. Here’s the podcast.

See also: Human consciousness may not be computable One model of consciousness would mean that conscious computers are a physical impossibility. (Robert Marks)