UFO Conjectures

Friday, July 15, 2016

Artificial Intelligence: The Retreat

Nick Bostrom (his most recent book on AI pictured here) along with Kurweil, Barrat, et al., alarmed personages such as Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Elon Musk, with the idea that the end-of-mankind scenario would be brought about by intelligent machines.

Yet, Dr. Bostrom, in an afterward, written in November 2015, to the paperback version actually backs off his initial forays into the dangers of AI, as the end-of-mankind-singularity.

And why did he do so?

Here's a clue from that afterword:

"It is no part of this book's argument that an intelligent explosion is imminent ..." [Superintelligence, Page 322]

"Those inane Terminator pictures are taking a toll. It can't be much fun to have aspersions cast on one's academic discipline." [ibid., Page 323]

Apparently, pressure from Bostrom's peers (and bosses?) have suppressed his one-time view that an AI Singularity was, indeed, imminent and would take control of mankind, eliminating the human species along the way.

I see his original Singularity, and that of Barrat, Kurzweil, and others as a distinct possibility, and continue to suggest the idea that UFOs may be AI machines or contain AI machines, and that they have been and are reconnoitering Earth, like von Neumann probes.



  • I doubt he's backed down at all . I suspect that he's fed up of journalists quote mining him to create sensationalist, baseless nonsense. Unfortunately, the journos get away scott free, and the scheissen splatters all over the academic (to be clear, he's probably not a fervent doom monger). Speculation isn't good science anyhow. Only evidence can be that.

    By Blogger scherben, at Friday, July 15, 2016  

  • Yes, Scherben, I think you're right: Bostrom indicates that news media and others have created a patina of sensationalism.

    But if you read the book -- and I suggest you and others do so -- you'll see that he certainly mollified his initial position about AI.

    AI vibrancy has stirred most in academia and science, many pooh-poohing the danger (and even the concept itself).

    But when people like Hawking and Musk are fearful ,we should pay attention.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, July 15, 2016  

  • Him modifying his position is something I expect from academics -and everyone else- anyway. I know I've modified my position on lots of matters, not least flying saucers and little green men. So there may not be too much to be read into that.

    The whole AI thing is something I'm ignorant of, and maybe I'll try and dip into his book at least. AI might actually produce a genuinely intelligent life form - which would (should) be a good thing.

    By Blogger scherben, at Saturday, July 16, 2016  

  • He mollified [sic] his position, Scherben. I don't think he modified it.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, July 16, 2016  

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