07.25.16 | The Perils of Artificial Intelligence

This Monday's discussion topic will center around the promise and perils surrounding Artificial Intelligence . . . while there is plenty of doom porn out there on any number of subjects this transhumanist Swedish philosopher posits sentient machines will prove to (eventually) represent a greater threat to humanity than climate change . . . . at the very least we will be treated to a fascinating thought experiment . . . be very careful of what we wish for as we assign and augment more and more of our human functions to the non-human sphere. 

Tim Adams | Guardian | 12th June 2016

Conversation with Nick Bostrom, Oxford philosopher and “prophet of doom”. Artificial intelligence can and very possibly will take over the universe, pushing humans into second place, if they still have any place at all. Because humans always want more technology. They always think it will work to their benefit. “You must remember I am a transhumanist. I want my life extension pill now. If there were a pill that could improve my cognition by 10%, I would be willing to pay a lot for that” (3,700 words)

Children Playing With A Bomb (click after the click)

The following Monday (10/1) our own home-grown talent will take on that elusive subject of money . . . the discussion will be kicked off by an article authored by Duncan Hoerst -- a brilliant and original mind indeed -- and powered by the interaction among the other "smartest guys in the room" including our own Harvard economist Bob Davis . . . yet the forum will be a very friendly one and invite all of us to see money in a brand new way.

We will then incorporate a Travel segment into the following Monday (10/8) session with an interactive session hosted by Marty Kaegel . . . I'll let Marty introduce that topic next week but I do want to say the last one -- Carolyn Schuham's talk on Japan so nicely balanced the aesthetics with the philosophical.

You'll note that I've now placed a list of twenty or so discussion candidates as an attachment (rather than into the body of the email) . . . please take a look at these periodically (as I'm constantly adding and deleting) and help me choose those with particular appeal . . . btw, point out topics that may represent intense interest to you part even though the subject is of limited appeal to others -- this isn't a numbers game and we have the flexibility to accommodate a tighter group in a smaller forum (e.g. red room).

And . . . please remember to Reply to me but to never use "Reply All" function (and thereby avoid the spam phenomenon) -- and you can always manually cc specific members of like mind.

Steve SmithComment