Nick Bostrom’s TED talk on Superintelligence is now online


Ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence is get­ting smarter by leaps and bounds — within this cen­tury, re­search sug­gests, a com­puter AI could be as “smart” as a hu­man be­ing. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will over­take us: “Ma­chine in­tel­li­gence is the last in­ven­tion that hu­man­ity will ever need to make.” A philoso­pher and tech­nol­o­gist, Bostrom asks us to think hard about the world we’re build­ing right now, driven by think­ing ma­chines. Will our smart ma­chines help to pre­serve hu­man­ity and our val­ues — or will they have val­ues of their own?

I re­al­ize this might go into a post in a me­dia thread, rather than its own topic, but it seems big enough, and likely-to-prompt-dis­cus­sion enough, to have its own thread.

I liked the talk, al­though it was less pol­ished than TED talks of­ten are. What was miss­ing I think was any in­di­ca­tion of how to solve the prob­lem. He could be seen as just an ivory tower philoso­pher spec­u­lat­ing on some­thing that might be a prob­lem one day, be­cause apart from men­tion­ing in the be­gin­ning that he works with math­e­mat­i­ci­ans and IT guys, he re­ally does not give an im­pres­sion that this prob­lem is already be­ing ac­tively worked on.