In the following video, futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil responds to some reasonable concerns about artificial general intelligence. While I am an advocate of caution over fear, I’m not sure that Kurzweil’s comparisons to previous technologies sets solid grounds for dismissing such concerns. We can reference past technologies and see a positive trend for such technologies being statistically more beneficial than destructive. For example, nuclear technology can be used for creating weaponry, but it’s far more commonly used for creating energy. However, all past technologies have one thing in common; they couldn’t out think us. Kurzweil’s only solution to this is to “merge with the machines.” Kurzweil also goes on to say that this merging is already taking place which, indeed, appears to be the case. My concern is that intelligence may not be the only factor in creating harmony within humanity. If empathy is solely a product of intelligence the I say bring it on! However, I think more attention needs to be paid to the developmental roots of empathy as we continue down the path of creating artificial sentience. The goal shouldn’t be in creating artificial general intelligence so much as it should be in creating artificial general empathy.
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I interviewed Ray in his Google office in Mountain View, CA, February 15, 2017. Ray gave generously of his time, and his replies to my questions were very focused, full of excellent content.
To view the full interview (about 30 minutes), go to this link: https://youtu.be/lpzXWGrngTw
At the end of 2013, I made a documentary (https://youtu.be/5igUX43gkiU) about Ray, which includes clips from another interview. My goal was to provide a short video introduction to the life & thoughts of Ray, for those who know nothing about him and who want to know more. I hope you will check it out.