Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagHal 9000

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Artificial neuron in concept of artificial intelligence. Wall-shaped binary codes make transmission lines of pulses, information in an analogy to a microchip.

Can AI Really Be “Slightly Conscious”? Can Anyone?

It’s rare to see popular media actually call out nonsense re artificial intelligence. Here’s is what it looks like when it happens

On February 9, Ilya Sutskever,co-founder of fake text generator OpenAI, made a claim that was frothy even for Twitter: “it may be that today’s largest neural networks are slightly conscious.” it may be that today’s large neural networks are slightly conscious — Ilya Sutskever (@ilyasut) February 9, 2022 Well, “slightly conscious” is like being “slightly pregnant” or “slightly dead.” While Sutskever didn’t name any specific developments, he was likely referring to huge natural language processing systems like OpenAI’s enormous GPT-3 which can translate, answer questions, fill in missing words, and generate fake news. No thought process is involved. The system approximates vast masses of actual instances of language use. The more stereotyped the language use is, the easier it is…

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Artificial intelligence and future technologies. Mixed media

Researchers: It Would Be Impossible To Control Super AI

But is superintelligent AI really possible? Some experts are skeptical

From the media release for a recent paper: The idea of artificial intelligence overthrowing humankind has been talked about for many decades, and scientists have just delivered their verdict on whether we’d be able to control a high-level computer super-intelligence. The answer? Almost definitely not. The catch is that controlling a super-intelligence far beyond human comprehension would require a simulation of that super-intelligence which we can analyse. But if we’re unable to comprehend it, it’s impossible to create such a simulation. David Nield, “Calculations Show It’ll Be Impossible to Control a Super-Intelligent AI” at Science Alert The open access research study is here. First, the idea that machines can design smarter machines should be treated with skepticism: maybe we are…

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Business Ethics

Artificial Ethics May Make Poor Choices

Whether or not AI can become powerful enough to follow its own rules is still an open question

We’ve all heard about computers that make poor ethical choices. One of the most memorable is HAL 9000 in the 1968 classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the film, HAL kills four humans and attempts to kill a fifth. The concurrently written book elaborates on HAL’s murderous plans, explaining that they were due to HAL’s inability to properly make the correct ethical choice: lie to the humans or kill them (and, thus, no longer be forced to lie to them). Poor HAL 9000! If only people had developed a new field of academic inquiry in time to help him (or should we say, “it”?) make better fictional ethical choices! Putting aside Hollywood’s imaginary universes, the real need for the new…

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Could HAL 9000 Ever Be Built?

I say yes. Some reflections on the 50th Year Anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey

At one point on the trip from Earth to Jupiter, HAL becomes suspicious that the crew might be sabotaging the mission. HAL then purposely tries to kill all the crew. The most logical explanation for this act is a coding error. HAL was programmed to operate on the basis that the mission took priority over human life.

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