Rodney Brooks

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pages: 586 words: 186,548

Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, future of work, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game, Zipcar

What kinds of breakthroughs should we realistically expect? RODNEY BROOKS: You can never expect breakthroughs. I expect 10 years from now the hot thing will not be deep learning, there’ll be a new hot thing driving progress. Deep learning has been a wonderful technology for us. It is what enables the speech systems for Amazon Echo and Google Home, and that’s a fantastic step forward. I know deep learning is going to enable other steps forward too, but something will come along to replace it. MARTIN FORD: When you say deep learning, do you mean by that neural networks using backpropagation? RODNEY BROOKS: Yes, but with lots of layers. MARTIN FORD: Maybe then the next thing will still be neural networks but with a different algorithm or Bayesian networks? RODNEY BROOKS: It might be, or it might be something very different, that’s what we don’t know.

It sounds like that might still be some way off. RODNEY BROOKS: Colin Angle, the CEO of iRobot, who co-founded it with me in 1990, has been talking about that for 28 years now. I think that I’m still going to be going to the fridge myself for a while. MARTIN FORD: Do you think that there will ever be a genuinely ubiquitous consumer robot, one that saturates the consumer market by doing something that people find absolutely indispensable? RODNEY BROOKS: Is Roomba indispensable? No, but it does something of value at a low enough cost that people are willing to pay for it. It’s not quite indispensable, it’s a convenience level. MARTIN FORD: When do we get there for a robot that can do more than move around and vacuum floors? A robot that has sufficient dexterity to perform some basic tasks? RODNEY BROOKS: I wish I knew! I think no one knows.

It’s a very desirable high-paying job that people go to college to get and that job is going to be threatened, but the maid cleaning the hotel room is going to be safe. RODNEY BROOKS: I don’t deny that, but what I do deny is when people say, oh that’s AI and robots doing that. As I say, I think this is more down to digitalization. MARTIN FORD: I agree, but it’s also true that AI is going to be deployed on that platform, so things may move even faster. RODNEY BROOKS: Yes, it certainly makes it easier to deploy AI given that platform. The other worry, of course, is that the platform is built on totally insecure components that can get hacked by anyone. MARTIN FORD: Let’s move on to that security question. What are the things that we really should worry about, aside from the economic disruption? What are the real risks, such as security, that you think are legitimate and that we should be concerned with? RODNEY BROOKS: Security is the big one.


pages: 797 words: 227,399

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

Singer, November 17, 2006. 130 Special forces roles were felt Robert Finkelstein and James Albus, “Technology Assessment of Autonomous Intelligent Bipedal and Other Legged Robots” (DARPA, 2004). 130 “As technology advances” Ibid. 130 “2035 [that] we will have robots” Ibid. 131 “Common sense is not a simple thing” Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (New York: Viking, 2005), 177. 131 our “emotional intelligence” Ibid., 191. 131 Rod Brooks of MIT and iRobot predicts Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002), 22. 131 “My job will be eliminated” As quoted by David Bruemmer, “Intelligent Autonomy for Unmanned Vehicles,” paper presented at the Military Robotics Conference, Institute for Defense and Government Advancement, Washington, DC, April 10-12, 2006. 131 “Asking whether robots” Rodney Brooks, interview, Peter W. Singer, Washington, DC, October 30, 2006. 132 Haile, a robot musician Gil Weinberg and Scott Driscoll, “Haile,” 2006 (cited July 7, 2007); available at http://www-static.cc.gatech.edu/~gilwein/Haile.htm 132 understand and interact with human musicians Matthew Abshire, “Musical Robot Composes, Performs and Teaches,” CNN.com, October 3, 2006 (cited October 3 2006); available at http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/10/03/musical.robot/index.html 132 “I firmly believe” H.

Eric Drexler, “Nanotechnology: Six Lessons from Sept. 11,” Open Letter, Foresight Institute, December 2001. 422 “We’ve got to be pro-active” Ibid. 422 “We have to manage the ethics” Habershon and Woods, “No Sex Please, Robot, Just Clean the Floor.” 422 “Ethicists have written at length” Nick Bostrom, “Nanotechnology Perceptions: A Review of Ultraprecision,” Nanotechnology Perceptions: A Review of Ultraprecision Engineering and Nanotechnology 2, no. 2 (2006). 423 “People ask me about” Rodney Brooks, interview, Peter W. Singer, October 30, 2006. 423 “Asimov’s rules are neat” Daniel Wilson, interview, Peter W. Singer, October 19, 2006. 423 “realized during a robot exhibition” “Trust Me, I’m a Robot,” Economist 379, no. 8481 (2006): 20. 423 “You don’t want to tell” Mark Barber, “Force Protection Robotics,” paper presented at the Military Robotics Conference, Institute for Defense and Government Advancement, Washington, DC, April 10-12, 2006. 423 “There is a lot of push” Rodney Brooks, interview, Peter W. Singer, October 30, 2006. 424 “Businesses are notoriously uninterested” Robert Sawyer, “On Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics,” 1994 (cited November 1, 2007); available at http://www.sfwriter.com/rmasilaw.htm 424 “We can’t simply do our science” Bill Joy, “Forfeiting the Future,” Resurgence no. 208 (2001), http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence/issues/joy208.htm 424 “I gave him a six-foot extension cord” Roger Nygard, “Grief Counseling,” The Office, produced by B.

The difference at iRobot is that the obligatory corporate board-room doubles as a small museum of robots and every so often a loud thump comes from a robot crashing into the wall. When I arrive for my visit, some of the employees are testing out a tracked robot, driving it down the hallway with a jury-rigged Xbox video game controller. Think Office Space crossed with Asimov. iRobot was founded in 1990 by three MIT computer geeks, Colin Angle, the CEO, Helen Greiner, the chairman of the board, and Rodney Brooks, their former professor, who doubled as chief technical officer. Brooks was already considered one of the world’s leading experts on robotics and artificial intelligence, Greiner would eventually be named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and Angle’s work would become so influential that his undergrad thesis paper ended up at the Smithsonian. iRobot, though, was no sure thing at the start.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Sutton, “Knowing ‘What’ to Do Is Not Enough: Turning Knowledge into Action,” California Management Review 42, no. 1 (1999). 22.Ben Shneiderman, “List of Influences: Ben Shneiderman,” eagereyes, December 16, 2011, http://eagereyes.org/influences/ben-shneiderman. 23.Tandy Trower, “A Parting Salute to Cliff Nass—Social Interface Pioneer and Good Friend,” Hoaloha Robotics, November 19, 2013, http://blog.hoaloharobotics.com/2013/11/19/a-parting-salute-to-cliff-nass-social-interface-pioneer-and-good-friend. 24.Tandy Trower, “Bob and Beyond: A Microsoft Insider Remembers,” Technologizer, March 29, 2010, http://www.technologizer.com/2010/03/29/bob-and-beyond-a-microsoft-insider-remembers. 25.Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (New York: Vintage, 1996), 101. 26.Ben Shneiderman and Pattie Maes, “Direct Manipulation vs. Interface Agents: Excerpts from Debates at IUI 97 and CHI 97,” Association for Computing Machinery Interactions, November-December 1997, http://ritter.ist.psu.edu/misc/dirk-files/Papers/HRI-papers/User%20interface%20design%20issues/Direct%20manipulation%20vs.%20interface%20agents.pdf. 27.Ibid. 6|COLLABORATION 1.Rodney Brooks, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us (New York: Pantheon, 2002), 28. 2.Ibid., 29. 3.Ibid., 31. 4.Rodney Brooks, “Elephants Don’t Play Chess,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems 6 (1990): 3–15, people.csail.mit.edu/brooks/papers/elephants.ps.Z. 5.Ibid. 6.Brooks, Flesh and Machines, 31. 7.Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984), 132. 8.R. H. MacMillan, Automation: Friend or Foe, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1956), 1. 9.Levy, Hackers, 130. 10.Lee Felsenstein, “The Golemic Approach,” LeeFelsenstein.com, http://www.leefelsenstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Golemic_Approach_MS.pdf. 11.Ibid., 4. 12.Evgeny Morozov, “Making It,” New Yorker, January 13, 2014, http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2014/01/13/140113crat_atlarge_morozov?

In one sense it is the ultimate religious belief in the power of technology-driven exponential curves, an idea that has been explored by Robert Geraci in Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality. There he finds fascinating sociological parallels between singularity thinking and a variety of messianic religious traditions.39 The singularity hypothesis also builds on the emergent AI research pioneered by Rodney Brooks, who first developed a robotics approach based on building complex systems out of collections of simpler parts. Both Kurzweil in How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed and Jeff Hawkins in his earlier On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent Machines attempt to make the case that because the simple biological “algorithms” that are the basis for human intelligence have been discovered, it is largely a matter of “scaling up” to engineer intelligent machines.

That conversation led to Beckman funding Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory as a Beckman Instruments subsidiary, but passing on the opportunity to purchase Shockley’s robotic eye. Shockley had written his proposal to replace workers with robots amid the nation’s original debate over “automation,” a term popularized by John Diebold in his 1952 book Automation: The Advent of the Automatic Factory. Shockley’s prescience was so striking that when Rodney Brooks, himself a pioneering roboticist at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the 1970s, read Brock’s article in IEEE Spectrum in 2013, he passed Shockley’s original 1951 memo around his company, Rethink Robotics, and asked his employees to guess when the memo had been written. No one came close. That memo predates by more than a half century Rethink’s Baxter robot, introduced in the fall of 2012.


pages: 339 words: 94,769

Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI by John Brockman

AI winter, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, David Graeber, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, finite state, friendly AI, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, invention of writing, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Laplace demon, Loebner Prize, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, Picturephone, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Skype, social graph, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telemarketer, telerobotics, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K, zero-sum game

The human use of human beings will soon be changed—once again—forever, but we can take the tiller and steer between some of the hazards if we take responsibility for our trajectory. Chapter 6 THE INHUMAN MESS OUR MACHINES HAVE GOTTEN US INTO RODNEY BROOKS Rodney Brooks is a computer scientist; Panasonic Professor of Robotics, emeritus, MIT; former director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He is the author of Flesh and Machines. The roboticist Rodney Brooks, featured in Errol Morris’s 1997 documentary Fast, Cheap & Out of Control along with a lion tamer, a topiarist, and an expert on the naked mole rat, was described by one reviewer as “smiling with a wild gleam in his eye.” But that’s pretty much true of most visionaries.

Stuart Russell: The Purpose Put into the Machine We may face the prospect of superintelligent machines—their actions by definition unpredictable by us and their imperfectly specified objectives conflicting with our own—whose motivations to preserve their existence in order to achieve those objectives may be insuperable. CHAPTER 4. George Dyson: The Third Law Any system simple enough to be understandable will not be complicated enough to behave intelligently, while any system complicated enough to behave intelligently will be too complicated to understand. CHAPTER 5. Daniel C. Dennett: What Can We Do? We don’t need artificial conscious agents. We need intelligent tools. CHAPTER 6. Rodney Brooks: The Inhuman Mess Our Machines Have Gotten Us Into We are in a much more complex situation today than Wiener foresaw, and I am worried that it is much more pernicious than even his worst imagined fears. CHAPTER 7. Frank Wilczek: The Unity of Intelligence The advantages of artificial over natural intelligence appear permanent, while the advantages of natural over artificial intelligence, though substantial at present, appear transient.

And Feigenbaum, who was the cutting-edge computer scientist of the day, teamed up with Pamela McCorduck to write a book on these developments. The Fifth Generation: Artificial Intelligence and Japan’s Computer Challenge to the World was published in 1983. We had a code name for the project: “It’s coming, it’s coming!” But it didn’t come; it went. From that point on I’ve worked with researchers in nearly every variety of AI and complexity, including Rodney Brooks, Hans Moravec, John Archibald Wheeler, Benoit Mandelbrot, John Henry Holland, Danny Hillis, Freeman Dyson, Chris Langton, J. Doyne Farmer, Geoffrey West, Stuart Russell, and Judea Pearl. AN ONGOING DYNAMICAL EMERGENT SYSTEM From the initial meeting in Washington, Connecticut, to the present, I arranged a number of dinners and discussions in London and Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as a public event at London’s City Hall.


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

Professor Breazeal is trying to build an autonomous, social robot – a robot we’d be happy to treat as a living (if not breathing) entity and not just an arrangement of servos, computers and sensors. She wants to create a personality we can interact and work with, even be friends with – to all intents and purposes, an intelligent, social, multipurpose machine. This scares the hell out of a lot of people. As Breazeal’s former mentor, the restive, maverick genius Rodney Brooks, opens his book Robot: The Future of Flesh and Machines: ‘As these robots get smarter, some people worry about what will happen when they get really smart. Will they decide that we humans are useless and stupid and take over the world from us?’ We’re weaned on a diet of Hollywood movies that generally cast future robots as perilous weapons of war and aggression (The Terminator) or scheming murderers (like the iconic HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey), with only the occasional Wall-E as light relief.

I would never say that what we’re doing with these robots is somehow explaining what humans are really doing.’ In 1997, IBM’s computer Deep Blue beat chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. This is seen, rightly, as a landmark moment in AI research, but it’s part of an old AI tradition of trying to get machines to replicate highly intellectual ‘symbolic’ reasoning (the sort you need to master algebra, for instance, and the kind of tasks revered, says Rodney Brooks, by ‘highly educated male scientists’). It’s no coincidence that the frontiers of AI research seem to have been populated with computers that get ever better at playing chess. But the big elephant in the room for this kind of AI research is that Elephants Don’t Play Chess (this being the title of a paper Brooks wrote in 1990), but they do do any number of ‘common-sense’ things that machines can’t – as can dogs, cats and preschool children.

At this point we hope they feel some responsibility for their ancestors and don’t break us down for raw materials, try to hunt us to extinction (Terminator) or (yes, Matrix fans) use us for batteries. They rule us, and our fate will be in their hands. Option three is that man and machine merge. As I found out during my chat with Nick Bostrom, this is already happening. In the opening pages of Robot, Rodney Brooks writes, ‘Recently, I was confronted with a researcher in our lab, a double-leg amputee, stepping off the elevator that I was waiting for. From the knees up he was all human, from the knees down he was robot.’ In late 2009, Robin af Ekenstam became the first recipient of ‘SmartHand’ – a prosthetic mechanical hand that not only replicates the movement of its human equivalent, but also provides Robin with a sense of touch (the replacement hand is wired to existing nerve endings in the stump left after he lost his original hand to cancer).


pages: 542 words: 161,731

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Albert Einstein, Columbine, global village, Hacker Ethic, helicopter parent, Howard Rheingold, industrial robot, information retrieval, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, Loebner Prize, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rodney Brooks, Skype, social intelligence, stem cell, technoutopianism, The Great Good Place, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Wall-E, women in the workforce, Year of Magical Thinking

And if you say to brick, ‘Look, arches are expensive and I can use a concrete lintel over you, what do you think of that, brick?’ And brick says to you, ‘I’d like an arch.’” See Nathaniel Kahn, My Architect: A Son’s Journey (New Yorker Films, 2003). 17 Rodney Brooks, cited in “MIT: ‘Creating a Robot So Alive You Feel Bad About Switching It Off’—a Galaxy Classic,” The Daily Galaxy, December 24, 2009, www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2009/12/there-is-ongoing-debate-about-what-constitutes-life-synthetic-bacteria-for-example-are-created-by-man-and-yet-also-alive. html (accessed June 4, 2010). 18 Cynthia Breazeal and Rodney Brooks both make the point that robot emotions do not have to be like human ones. They should be judged on their own merits. See Cynthia Breazeal and Rodney Brooks (2005). “Robot Emotion: A Functional Perspective,” in J.-M. Fellous and M. Arbib (eds.) Who Needs Emotions: The Brain Meets the Robot, MIT Press. 271-310.

I did much of the work reported here under the auspices of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. I thank all of my colleagues and students who worked with the initiative and in the Program for Science, Technology, and Society, which is its academic home. I have profited from their support and good ideas. Collegial relationships across MIT have enriched my thinking and been sources of much appreciated practical assistance. Rodney Brooks provided me with an office at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory to help me get the lay of the land. He gave me the best possible start. Cynthia Breazeal and Brian Scassellati, the principal developers of Kismet and Cog, worked with me on the first-encounters study that introduced sixty children to these robots. These two generous colleagues helped me to think through so many of the issues in this book.

For Kara, “That is not what I do.... In that moment, the Furby comes to represent how I treat creatures.” When the toy manufacturer Hasbro introduced its My Real Baby robot doll in 2000, it tried to step away from these complex matters. My Real Baby shut down in situations where a real baby might feel pain. This was in contrast to its prototype, a robot called “IT,” developed by a team led by MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks. “IT” evolved into “BIT” (for Baby IT), a doll with “states of mind” and facial musculature under its synthetic skin to give it expression.13 When touched in a way that would induce pain in a child, BIT cried out. Brooks describes BIT in terms of its inner states:If the baby were upset, it would stay upset until someone soothed it or it finally fell asleep after minutes of heartrending crying and fussing.


pages: 523 words: 61,179

Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty, H. James Wilson

3D printing, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, friendly AI, future of work, industrial robot, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, Lyft, natural language processing, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, software as a service, speech recognition, telepresence, telepresence robot, text mining, the scientific method, uber lyft

So how do robot arms and humans work together? Historically, not so well. Robots, with their fast, decisive movements have been helpful and efficient, but also dangerous to people. They’ve often been cordoned off behind protective barriers. But that standard segregation is beginning to change. So-called collaborative robots from companies like Rethink Robotics, founded by robotics and AI pioneer Rodney Brooks, come equipped with sensors that allow them to recognize a range of objects and avoid knocking people around. When robots aren’t so clumsy, they can work well with people. Factories that use Rethink Robotics products often divide the work between the robot and the human worker, working side by side, performing tasks best suited to their abilities. (For further examples of embodied AI, see the sidebar “AI in the Factory.”)

Mike Murphy, “Siemens is building a swarm of robot spiders to 3D-print objects together,” Quartz, April 29, 2016, https://qz.com/672708/siemens-is-building-a-swarm-of-robot-spiders-to-3d-print-objects-together/. c. Robotiq, “Inertia Switch Case Study – Robotiq 2-Finger Adaptive Gripper – ROBOTIQ,” YouTube video, 1:32 minutes, posted July 28, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJftrfiGyfs. Kindler, Gentler Robots During the second AI “winter,” Rodney Brooks challenged one of the fundamental ideas that had driven previous AI research—namely, the reliance on predetermined symbols and relationships between symbols to help computers make sense of the world (see the sidebar “Two AI Winters”). He claimed a much more robust approach: instead of cataloging the world in advance and representing it with symbols, why not survey it with sensors instead? “The world is its own best model,” he wrote in a famous 1990 paper called “Elephants Don’t Play Chess.”

Many other researchers provided relevant findings and insights that enriched our thinking, including Mark Purdy, Ladan Davarzani, Athena Peppes, Philippe Roussiere, Svenja Falk, Raghav Narsalay, Madhu Vazirani, Sybille Berjoan, Mamta Kapur, Renee Byrnes, Tomas Castagnino, Caroline Liu, Lauren Finkelstein, Andrew Cavanaugh, and Nick Yennaco. We owe a special debt to the many visionaries and pioneers who have blazed AI trails and whose work has inspired and informed us, including Herbert Simon, John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Arthur Samuel, Edward Feigenbaum, Joseph Weizenbaum, Geoffrey Hinton, Hans Moravec, Peter Norvig, Douglas Hofstadter, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Yann LeCun, and Andrew Ng, among many others. And huge gratitude to our colleagues who provided insights and inspiration, including Nicola Morini Bianzino, Mike Sutcliff, Ellyn Shook, Marc Carrel-Billiard, Narendra Mulani, Dan Elron, Frank Meerkamp, Adam Burden, Mark McDonald, Cyrille Bataller, Sanjeev Vohra, Rumman Chowdhury, Lisa Neuberger-Fernandez, Dadong Wan, Sanjay Podder, and Michael Biltz.


pages: 350 words: 98,077

Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans by Melanie Mitchell

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dark matter, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, ImageNet competition, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Mark Zuckerberg, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, performance metric, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Yes, they said, we should make sure that AI programs are safe and don’t risk harming humans, but any reports of near-term superhuman AI are greatly exaggerated. The entrepreneur and activist Mitchell Kapor advised, “Human intelligence is a marvelous, subtle, and poorly understood phenomenon. There is no danger of duplicating it anytime soon.”10 The roboticist (and former director of MIT’s AI Lab) Rodney Brooks agreed, stating that we “grossly overestimate the capabilities of machines—those of today and of the next few decades.”11 The psychologist and AI researcher Gary Marcus went so far as to assert that in the quest to create “strong AI”—that is, general human-level AI—“there has been almost no progress.”12 I could go on and on with dueling quotations. In short, what I found is that the field of AI is in turmoil.

In some ways, Cyc’s trajectory echoes that of IBM’s Watson: each started as a foundational AI research effort with vast scope and ambitions and ended up as a set of commercial products with elevated marketing claims (for example, Cyc “brings human-like understanding and reasoning to computers”6) but with narrow rather than general focus, and little transparency into the actual performance and capabilities of the system. As yet, Cyc has not had much of an impact on mainstream work in AI. Moreover, some in the AI community have sharply criticized the approach. For example, the University of Washington AI professor Pedro Domingos called Cyc “the most notorious failure in the history of AI.”7 The MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks was only a bit kinder: “While [Cyc] has been a heroic effort, it has not led to an AI system being able to master even a simple understanding of the world.”8 What about giving computers the subconscious knowledge about the world learned in infancy and childhood that forms the basis of all our concepts? How might we, for example, teach a computer the intuitive physics of objects? Several research groups have taken on this challenge and are building AI systems that can learn a little bit about the cause-and-effect physics of the world, from either videos, video games, or other kinds of virtual reality.9 These approaches are intriguing but as yet have taken only baby steps—compared with what an actual baby knows—toward developing intuitive core knowledge.

In 2015, Microsoft’s research director Eric Horvitz joked that “One might even say that the [1955] proposal, if properly reformatted, could be resubmitted to the National Science Foundation … today and would probably get some funding by some excited program managers.”22 This is by no means a criticism of past AI research. Artificial intelligence is at least as hard as any of humanity’s other grand scientific challenges. MIT’s Rodney Brooks stated this better than anyone else: “When AI got started, the clear inspiration was human level performance and human level intelligence. I think that goal has been what attracted most researchers into the field for the first sixty years. The fact that we do not have anything close to succeeding at those aspirations says not that researchers have not worked hard or have not been brilliant. It says that it is a very hard goal.”23 The most exciting questions in AI are not only focused on potential applications.


The Deep Learning Revolution (The MIT Press) by Terrence J. Sejnowski

AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Conway's Game of Life, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, delayed gratification, discovery of DNA, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, Henri Poincaré, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Norbert Wiener, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, PageRank, pattern recognition, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Socratic dialogue, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize, Yogi Berra

A thousand Rubis could have tested many ideas for how to improve educational practice and could have probed the differences between schools serving different socioeconomic groups around the country. Although resources never materialized to run the project, it’s still a great idea, which someone should pursue. Two-legged robots are unstable and require a sophisticated control system to keep them from falling over. And, indeed, it takes about twelve months before a baby biped human starts walking without falling over. Rodney Brooks (figure 12.3), who made a brief appearance in chapter 2, Figure 12.3 Rodney Brooks oversees Baxter, who is preparing to place a plug into a hole on the table. Brooks is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded iRobot, which makes Roombas, and now Rethink, which makes Baxters. Courtesy of Rod Brooks. 178 Chapter 12 wanted to build six-legged robots that could walk like insects. He invented a new type of controller that could sequence the actions of the six legs to move his robo-cockroach forward and remain stable.

The vision networks in the fly eye evolved over hundreds of millions of years, and its vision algorithms are embedded in the networks themselves. This is why you can reverse engineer vision by working out the wiring diagram and information flow through the neural circuits of the fly eye, and why you can’t do that for a digital computer, where the hardware by itself needs software to specify what problem is being solved. I recognized Rodney Brooks smiling in the back of the crowd, someone I had once invited to a workshop on computational neuroscience in Woods Hole on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Brooks is from Australia, and, in the 1980s, he was a junior faculty member in the MIT AI Lab, where he built walking robotic insects using an architecture that did not depend on digital logic. He would eventually become the lab’s director and go on to found iRobot, the company that makes Roombas.

But, by the time his early students graduated, the programs they designed could recognize tanks under more general conditions because computers were more powerful. Today his students’ programs can recognize tanks in any image. The difference is that today we have access to millions of images that sample a wide range of poses and lighting conditions, and computers are millions of times more powerful. In “Intelligence and Bodies,” Rodney Brooks (from MIT) spoke about his experience with building robots that crawl and meander. Intelligence evolved in brains to control movements, and bodies evolved to interact with the world through that intelligence. Brooks departed from the traditional controllers used by roboticists and used behavior rather than computation as the metaphor for designing robots. As we learn more from building robots, it will become apparent that the body is a part of the mind.


pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Bartholomew’s Hospital Steven Weinberg, Nobel laureate, University of Texas at Austin Frank Wilczek, Nobel laureate, MIT Amir Aczel, author of Uranium Wars Buzz Aldrin, former NASA astronaut, second man to walk on the moon Geoff Andersen, research associate, United States Air Force Academy, author of The Telescope Jay Barbree, NBC news correspondent, coauthor of Moon Shot John Barrow, physicist, University of Cambridge, author of Impossibility Marcia Bartusiak, author of Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony Jim Bell, professor of astronomy, Cornell University Jeffrey Bennet, author of Beyond UFOs Bob Berman, astronomer, author of Secrets of the Night Sky Leslie Biesecker, chief of Genetic Disease Research Branch, National Institutes of Health Piers Bizony, science writer, author of How to Build Your Own Spaceship Michael Blaese, former National Institutes of Health scientist Alex Boese, founder of Museum of Hoaxes Nick Bostrom, transhumanist, University of Oxford Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, Institute for Space and Security Studies Lawrence Brody, chief of the Genome Technology Branch, National Institutes of Health Rodney Brooks, former director, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Lester Brown, founder of Earth Policy Institute Michael Brown, professor of astronomy, Caltech James Canton, founder of Institute for Global Futures, author of The Extreme Future Arthur Caplan, director, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania Fritjof Capra, author of The Science of Leonardo Sean Carroll, cosmologist, Caltech Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon Leroy Chiao, former NASA astronaut George Church, director, Center for Computational Genetics, Harvard Medical School Thomas Cochran, physicist, Natural Resources Defense Council Christopher Cokinos, science writer, author of The Fallen Sky Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health Vicki Colvin, director of Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology, Rice University Neil Comins, author of The Hazards of Space Travel Steve Cook, director of Space Technologies, Dynetics, former NASA spokesperson Christine Cosgrove, author of Normal at Any Cost Steve Cousins, president and CEO, Willow Garage Brian Cox, physicist, University of Manchester, BBC science host Phillip Coyle, former assistant secretary of defense, U.S.

MERGING WITH ROBOTS In addition to friendly AI, there is also another option: merging with our creations. Instead of simply waiting for robots to surpass us in intelligence and power, we should try to enhance ourselves, becoming superhuman in the process. Most likely, I believe, the future will proceed with a combination of these two goals, i.e., building friendly AI and also enhancing ourselves. This is an option being explored by Rodney Brooks, former director of the famed MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He has been a maverick, overturning cherished but ossified ideas and injecting innovation into the field. When he entered the field, the top-down approach was dominant in most universities. But the field was stagnating. Brooks raised a few eyebrows when he called for creating an army of insectlike robots that learned via the bottom-up approach by bumping into obstacles.

Now, he believes, there is no such thing. Evolution haphazardly cobbled together a bunch of techniques we collectively call consciousness. Take apart the brain, and you find a loose collection of minibrains, each designed to perform a specific task. He calls this the “society of minds”: that consciousness is actually the sum of many separate algorithms and techniques that nature stumbled upon over millions of years. Rodney Brooks was also looking for a similar paradigm, but one that had never been fully explored before. He soon realized that Mother Nature and evolution had already solved many of these problems. For example, a mosquito, with only a few hundred thousand neurons, can outperform the greatest military robotic system. Unlike our flying drones, mosquitoes, with brains smaller than the head of a pin, can independently navigate around obstacles, find food and mates.


Emotional design: why we love (or hate) everyday things by Donald A. Norman

A Pattern Language, crew resource management, Dean Kamen, industrial robot, job automation, Rodney Brooks, Vernor Vinge, Yogi Berra

As these robots are developed, we will probably also design specialized objects in the home that simplify the tasks for the robots, coevolving robot and home to work smoothly together. Note that the end result will be better for people as well. Thus, the drink dispenser robot would allow anyone to walk up to it and ask for a can, except that you wouldn't use infrared or radio, you might push a button or perhaps just ask. I am not alone in imagining this coevolution of robots and homes. Rodney Brooks, one of the world's leading roboticists, head of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and founder of a company that builds home and commercial robots, imagines a rich ecology of environments and robots, with specialized ones living on devices, each responsible to keep its domain clean: one does the bathtub, another the toilet; one does windows, another manipulates mirrors. Brooks even contemplates a robot dining room table, with storage area and dishwasher built into its base so that "when we want to set the table, small robotic arms, not unlike the ones in a jukebox, will bring the required dishes and cutlery out onto the place settings.

THE P O W E R F U L team of interaction designers Shelley Evenson and John Rheinfrank always provide great insights (and John is a great chef). I thank Paul Bradley, David Kelly, and Craig Sampson of IDEO and Walter Herbst and John Hartman from Herbst LaZar Bell. Cynthia Breazeal and Roz Picard from the MIT Media Laboratory provided numerous useful interactions, including visits to their laboratories, which contributed considerably to chapters 6 and 7. Rodney Brooks, head of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT and a roboticist, was also a great source of information. Marvin Minsky, as always, provided much inspiration, especially with the manuscript of his forthcoming book, The Emotion Machine. I tested many of my ideas on the several bulletin boards of the CHI community (the international society for Computer-Human Interaction), and many respondents have been most helpful.

Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable law. 165 "The psychologists Robert Sekuler and Randolph Blake" (Sekuler & Blake, 1998) 166 "as happens to some emotionally impaired people" (Damasio, 1994,1999) 169 "The 1980s was the decade of the PC." Toshitada Doi, president of Sony Digital Creatures Laboratory. (Nov. 2000) 170—171 "Neal Stephenson's science fiction novel" (Stephenson, 1995) 173 "Rodney Brooks, one of the world's leading roboticists" (Brooks, 2002). The quotation is from page 125. 175 "Masahiro Mori, a Japanese roboticist": The Buddha in the Robot (Mori, 1982). The argument that we are more bothered when the robot is too close to human appearance comes from an essay by Dave Bryant (Bryant, not dated). Bryant attributes the argument to Mori, but when I bought Mori's book and read it, although I enjoyed the book, I found not even a hint of this argument.


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Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland, Jj Sutherland

Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business cycle, call centre, clean water, death of newspapers, fundamental attribution error, knowledge worker, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, pets.com, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Shai Danziger, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System

The roboticists came in and nervously apologized for their machine, but every few days it would happen again. One of the robots would escape their lab and start running around the building. I’d hear the mechanical clacking of legs scurrying down the hallways. On Friday afternoons I always served wine and beer at the office so that everyone could unwind and socialize after a hard week. I’d invite the roboticists down the hall to these events, and one Friday afternoon Rodney Brooks showed up. Brooks, a professor of artificial intelligence at MIT, was one of the founders of the robot company. I asked him how the roving robots worked. “For decades we’ve tried to make a really smart thinking machine,” he told me. “We spent billions of dollars, many, many years of work, building the biggest computers we could, with the biggest databases, but all we got was a computer that can beat people at chess.”

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls More and more I realized that, if I could create a system that, like that robot, could coordinate independent thinkers with constant feedback about their environment, much higher levels of performance would be achieved. By streamlining the flow of information among “legs” of a group, we could achieve efficiencies that had never been reached before. My conversation with Rodney Brooks took place more than two decades ago. For many years he was the head of robotics and artificial intelligence at MIT, and that spidery robot I met, dubbed “Genghis Khan,” now sits in the Smithsonian as a collector’s item. By now you’re probably familiar with one of Brooks’s companies, iRobot, which makes the Roomba vacuum cleaner and uses the same adaptive intelligence to clean your floors that Genghis Khan used to chase me around my office.

Rule was imposed from above, from the divine right of kings and the power of arms. Great empires ruled much of the world—not only Great Britain, but also France, Austria, Russia, and Ottoman. The idea that individuals were endowed with rights, rather than granted them by the powerful, was, to put it mildly, revolutionary. The “republic” was a form of government that emerged from those ideals. Like Rodney Brooks’s robot learning to walk, the United States lurched to its feet, stumbled, fell, and occasionally wandered down the wrong path. But those ideals inspired revolutions the world over, and today most major powers are governed, at least in form, by the people they purport to represent. The problem, of course, is two-hundred-plus years of bureaucratic buildup—permanent interests embedded in the very structure of the government that make it hard for people’s voices to be heard.


pages: 313 words: 91,098

The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, attribution theory, bitcoin, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, combinatorial explosion, computer age, crowdsourcing, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Flynn Effect, Hernando de Soto, hindsight bias, hive mind, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

THINKING WITH OUR BODIES AND THE WORLD Minsky quote: Wired Magazine, Issue 11:08, August 2003. archive.wired.com/wired/archive/11.08/view.html?pg=3. GOFAI: J. Haugeland (1989). Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Frame problem: For a philosophical analysis, see H. L. Dreyfus (2007). “Why Heideggerian AI Failed and How Fixing It Would Require Making It More Heideggerian.” Philosophical Psychology 20(2): 247–268. Rodney Brooks’s tic-tac-toe game: www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2014/10/28/rodney-brooks-robotics. Reading text with an eye tracker: Reviewed in P. S. Churchland, V. S. Ramachandran, and T. J. Sejnowski (1994). “A Critique of Pure Vision.” In ed. C. Koch and J. L. Davis, Large-Scale Neuronal Theories of the Brain. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 23–60. “outside memory store”: J. K. O’Regan (1992). “Solving the ‘Real’ Mysteries of Visual Perception: The World as an Outside Memory.”

If a robot’s computer is fast enough, then it might not look like it’s spending much time thinking and planning. And there are really fast computers today that compute extraordinarily quickly. But even today’s fastest computers are not fast enough for GOFAI. Robots today are impressive because they’ve incorporated a different style of computation into their decision-making and action, a style inspired by how animals compute. Embodied Intelligence Rodney Brooks was a computer science professor at MIT for over twenty years starting in the mid-1980s. He was at the center of the revolution in robotics. His attitude toward machines was foreshadowed when, as a twelve-year-old growing up in Australia, he built an electronic tic-tac-toe game. Rather than doing it the old-fashioned way, by programming the logic of tic-tac-toe into the software of an existing computer, he built the game from scratch, out of scrap metal, switches, wires, and lightbulbs.


Free Money for All: A Basic Income Guarantee Solution for the Twenty-First Century by Mark Walker

3D printing, 8-hour work day, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, commoditize, financial independence, full employment, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, intangible asset, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, longitudinal study, market clearing, means of production, new economy, obamacare, off grid, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, surplus humans, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, universal basic income, working poor

Now, many such robots can vacuum a whole house unaided. When the batteries run low, the robots return to their “feeding stations” where they recharge. They are by no means perfect but certainly much better at vacuuming than your average teenager. They also work cheaper and do not complain. Another example of robotic progress is Baxter from Rethink Robotics. Baxter is an industrial robot designed by Rodney Brooks, inventor of the Roomba robot. Let us consider the cost first. Unimate is usually credited with the installation of the first industrial robot in 1961.13 This robotic arm worked at a General Motors factory with hot die cast metal sorting and stacking. Unimate sold the robot at a loss: it cost $65 million to make and Unimate sold it for a paltry $18 million. Baxter costs more than 1,000 times less, retailing at $22,000.

This makes the lifetime cost of Baxter cheaper than many of its competitors ($22,000 versus $500,000). Robots like Baxter will revolutionize industrial production. As mentioned above, the robotic revolution is being spearheaded by specific purpose-built machines. And because of this, there are very few who are able to see the revolution in all its clarity, as it requires knowledge of developments in a number of specialized domains. For example, when a reporter asked Rodney Brooks, inventor of both the aforementioned Roomba and Baxter robots, how long it might be before robots could replace McDonald’s workers, his response was very telling. Brooks claimed that “it might be 30 years before robots will cook for us.”14 His reasoning for this prediction is also interesting, “In a fast food place you’re not doing the same task very long. You’re always changing things on the fly, so you need special solutions.

As a former McDonald’s employee, I can attest to the repetitive nature of the work.16 I would describe working there in exactly the opposite way: you do the same task for a very long time with little variation in the routine at each station. Interestingly, there is already a robotic hamburger maker available from Momentum Machines.17 It will cook up to 360 hamburgers an hour, plus cut fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles. Or consider Kura, a sushi restaurant chain in Japan that uses robotics to lower its labor costs.18 The fact that a world-class roboticist like Rodney Brooks has underestimated the robotic revolution is revealing. The reality is that we are almost at a tipping point where robots are cheaper even in an industry known for its low-cost labor.19 Indeed, what is disturbing is that even in China, with its notoriously low wages and harsh working conditions, there is a move to robotics. The chairman of Hon Hai (also known as Foxcon), manufacturers of Apple’s iPhone and other electronic devices, announced a few years back that the company’s goal is to have a million industrial robots in use by 2014.20 The plan has hit some snags but is still proceeding at an aggressive pace.21 Some analysts say the price of robots 100 FREE MONEY FOR ALL is still too high for it to make economic sense for Hon Hai, suggesting that the price per robot would have to fall to $25,000 from their current $50,000–$200,000 level.


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Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together by Thomas W. Malone

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, clean water, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, gig economy, happiness index / gross national happiness, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Rulifson, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, prediction markets, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Here there is clearly room for differing viewpoints. Some people, like my former student and now colleague Erik Brynjolfsson and his coauthor Andrew McAfee, suggest that continuing advances in computer hardware together with the surprisingly rapid progress in artificial intelligence make it likely that machines may possess general intelligence soon.10 Others, like artificial intelligence expert Rodney Brooks, say that it may take hundreds of years.11 In fact, progress in the field of artificial intelligence has been notoriously difficult to predict ever since its early days, in the 1950s. For instance, one study by researchers Stuart Armstrong and Kaj Sotala analyzed 95 predictions—made between 1950 and 2012—about when general AI would be achieved.12 They found a strong tendency for both experts and nonexperts to predict that general AI would be achieved between 15 and 25 years in the future… regardless of when the predictions were made!

., “Decoding Motor Imagery from the Posterior Parietal Cortex of a Tetraplegic Human,” Science 348, no. 6,237 (May 22, 2015): 906–910, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6237/906.full, doi:10.1126/science.aaa5417. CHAPTER 4 1. Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (New York: Prentice Hall, 1995). 2. Alan Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Mind 59 (1950): 433–60. 3. Wikipedia, s.v. “artificial intelligence,” accessed August 8, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence. 4. Rodney Brooks, “Artificial Intelligence Is a Tool, Not a Threat,” Rethink Robotics, November 10, 2014, http://www.rethinkrobotics.com/blog/artificial-intelligence-tool-threat. 5. David Ferrucci, e-mail message to the author, August 24, 2016. Ferrucci was the leader of the IBM team that developed the Watson technology. 6. See, for example, a review of this literature in Russell and Norvig, Artificial Intelligence, chapter 26. 7.

Dijkstra, “The Threats to Computing Science,” presented at the ACM South Central Regional Conference, Austin, TX, November 1984. 9. Russell and Norvig, Artificial Intelligence, 1,021. 10. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (New York: W. W. Norton, 2014); Martin Ford, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (New York: Basic Books, 2015). 11. Brooks, “Artificial Intelligence Is a Tool”; Rodney Brooks, “The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions,” MIT Technology Review, October 6, 2017, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609048/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-ai-predictions/. 12. Stuart Armstrong and Kaj Sotala, “How We’re Predicting AI—or Failing To,” in Beyond AI: Artificial Dreams, ed. Jan Romportl, Pavel Ircing, Eva Zackova, Michal Polak, and Radek Schuster (Pilsen, Czech Republic: University of West Bohemia, 2012): 52–75, https://intelligence.org/files/PredictingAI.pdf. 13.


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In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, animal electricity, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, millennium bug, Moravec's paradox, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, off grid, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

The really hard problem in AI is coding sensing and action. According to cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, this is the most significant discovery about AI.31 It suggests that in the second machine age, while lawyers and doctors may struggle on social benefits, gardeners and janitors will remain in business and thrive. But why is this so? Many AI researchers, including former MIT professor and current robotics entrepreneur Rodney Brooks, point out that human sensorimotor skills are not related to cognition but are the product of millions of years of evolution.32 Despite the success achieved in AI by approaching the problem of intelligence from a different angle (the ‘aeroplane’ way), one would really need to reverse-engineer evolution in order to reproduce the full capabilities of a human brain including self-awareness and high-levels of consciousness.

As the ultimate victors, they had become the robotic fauna of the planet, responding aggressively and spontaneously to any threat. Lem was keen to argue in his novel that evolution does not necessarily lead to a species with superior intellect. Human evolution can only be regarded as accidental. Perhaps on another planet, like Regis III, nanorobots have taken over from their creators? Perhaps Regis III is Earth in the future? ‘Nouvelle AI’, a concept championed by robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks, argues that instead of trying to reproduce human intelligence in AI, we should focus on creating robots possessed of an insect-like intelligence that is capable of evolving.8 Nanotechnologists, like the visionary Eric Drexler,9 see the future of intelligent machines at the level of molecules: tiny robots that evolve and – as happens in Lem’s novel – which come together to form intelligent superorganisms.

AD 50: Hero of Alexandria designs first mechanical automata. 1275: Ramon Lull invents Ars Magna, a logical machine. 1637: Descartes declares cogito ergo sum (‘I think therefore I am’). 1642: Blaise Pascal invents the Pascaline, a mechanical cal-culator. 1726: Jonathan Swift publishes Gulliver’s Travels, which includes the description of a machine that can write any book. 1801: Joseph Marie Jacquard invents a textiles loom that uses punched cards. 1811: Luddite movement in Great Britain against the auto-mation of manual jobs. 1818: Mary Shelley publishes Frankenstein. 1835: Joseph Henry invents the electronic relay that allows electrical automation and switching. 1842: Charles Babbage lectures at the University of Turin, where he describes the Analytical Engine. 1843: Ada Lovelace writes the first computer program. 1847: George Boole invents symbolic and binary logic. 1876: Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone. 1879: Thomas Edison invents the light bulb. 1879: Gottlob Frege invents predicate logic and calculus. 1910: Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead publish Principia Mathematica. 1917: Karel Capek coins the term ‘robot’ in his play R.U.R. 1921: Ludwig Wittgenstein publishes Tractatus Logico-philosopicus. 1931: Kurt Gödel publishes The Incompleteness Theorem. 1937: Alan Turing invents the ‘Turing machine’. 1938: Claude Shannon demonstrates that symbolic logic can be implemented using electronic relays. 1941: Konrad Zuse constructs Z3, the first Turing-complete computer. 1942: Alan Turing and Claude Shannon work together at Bell Labs. 1943: Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts demonstrate the equivalence between electronics and neurons. 1943: IBM funds the construction of Harvard Mark 1, the first program-controlled calculator. 1943: Charles Wynn-Williams and others create the computer Colossus at Bletchley Park. 1945: John von Neumann suggests a computer architecture whereby programs are stored in the memory. 1946: ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is built. 1947: Invention of the transistor at Bell Labs. 1948: Norbert Wiener publishes Cybernetics. 1950: Alan Turing proposes the ‘Turing Test’. 1950: Isaac Asimov publishes I, Robot. 1952: Alan Turing commits suicide with cyanide-laced apple. 1952: Herman Carr produces the first one-dimensional MRI image. 1953: Claude Shannon hires Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy at Bell Labs. 1953: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations pub-lished in German (two years after his death). 1956: The Dartmouth conference; the term ‘Artificial Intel-ligence’ is coined by John McCarthy. 1957: Allen Newell and Herbert Simon build the ‘General Problem Solver’. 1958: John McCarthy creates LISP programming language. 1959: John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky establish AI lab at MIT. 1963: The US government awards $2.2 million to AI lab at MIT for machine-aided cognition. 1965: Hubert Dreyfus argues against the possibility of Artificial Intelligence. 1969: Stanley Kubrick introduces HAL in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. 1971: Leon Chua envisions the memristor. 1972: Alain Colmerauer develops Prolog programming language. 1973: The Lighthill report influences the British government to abandon research in AI. 1976: Hans Moravec builds the ‘Stanford Cart’, the first auto-nomous vehicle. Early 1980s: The Internet is invented. 1982: The 5th Generation Computer Systems Project is launch-ed by Japan. 1982: The film Blade Runner is released, directed by Ridley Scott, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. 1989: Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web. 1990: Seiji Ogawa presents the first fMRI machine. 1993: Rodney Brooks and others start the MIT Cog Project, an attempt to build a humanoid robot child in five years. 1997: Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov at chess. 2000: Cynthia Breazeal at MIT describes Kismet, a robot with a face that simulates expressions. 2004: DARPA launches the Grand Challenge for autonomous vehicles. 2009: Google builds the self-driving car. 2011: IBM’s Watson wins the TV game show Jeopardy!.


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Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Build a better mousetrap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, fundamental attribution error, Isaac Newton, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, music of the spheres, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

In Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller describes the final courtesy that even the failed, deluded, doomed Willy Loman deserves, because “he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid.” Because it’s impossible to communicate, much less bond, with someone who can’t or won’t focus on you, that capacity is crucial even to exchanges between people and the interactive robots designed to do their bidding. For that reason, MIT’s Rodney Brooks, founder of iRobot, is particularly proud of Mertz, a mechanical grandchild created by his former student Lijin Aryananda, because the fetching machine adeptly expresses “beingness” by paying attention to you and engaging your attention to . . . it? Her? Mertz’s most distinctive features are the big, blinking eyes, emphasized by strong brows, that dominate its childlike, Kewpie doll head. Behind these baby blues are camera sensors programmed to recognize and respond to human faces.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll visit my ninety-four-year-old mother, Winnie, who is becoming very frail in body and mind and is once again in a nursing home. To paraphrase John Milton, “Heaven or hell?” It will depend on what we focus on. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS For their contributions to our understanding of attention and for kindly sharing their insights with me, I wish to thank George Ainslie, Marie Banich, Aaron Beck, Marlene Behrmann, George Bonanno, Thomas Bradbury, Rodney Brooks, Bill Brown, Fred Bryant, Laura Carstensen, Javier Castellanos, Tanya Chartrand, Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, Richard Davidson, Edward Deci, Angela Duckworth, Dugu Choegyal Rinpoche, Carol Dweck, Barbara Fredrickson, Howard Gardner, Joseph Giunta, Scott Hagwood, Shannon Howell, Amishi Jha, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Daniel Kahneman, Ellen Langer, Marsel Mesulam, Richard Nisbett, Donald Norman, Elinor Ochs, James Pawelski, Chris Peterson, Gail Posner, Michael Posner, Lobsang Rapgay, Mary Rothbart, Paul Rozin, Oliver Schultheiss, Barry Schwartz, Paschal Sheeran, Ann Treisman, and Leslie Ungerleider.


pages: 294 words: 81,292

Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era by James Barrat

AI winter, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Automated Insights, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, brain emulation, cellular automata, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, don't be evil, drone strike, Extropian, finite state, Flash crash, friendly AI, friendly fire, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, lone genius, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, smart grid, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Eventually I reached out and connected to a far more advanced and sophisticated web of thinkers, and even small organizations, than I had imagined were focused on the issue. Misgivings about AI wasn’t the only thing we shared; we also believed that time to take action and avoid disaster was running out. * * * For more than twenty years I’ve been a documentary filmmaker. In 2000, I interviewed science-fiction great Arthur C. Clarke, inventor Ray Kurzweil, and robot pioneer Rodney Brooks. Kurzweil and Brooks painted a rosy, even rapturous picture of our future coexistence with intelligent machines. But Clarke hinted that we would be overtaken. Before, I had been drunk with AI’s potential. Now skepticism about the rosy future slunk into my mind and festered. My profession rewards critical thinking—a documentary filmmaker has to be on the lookout for stories too good to be true.

In fact, we might even expect them to be more ethical than we are, since we don’t want to build an intelligence with an appetite for violence and homicide, right? Yet those are precisely the sorts of autonomous drones and battlefield robots the U.S. government and military contractors are developing today. They’re creating and using the best advanced AI available. I find it strange that robot pioneer Rodney Brooks dismisses the possibility that superintelligence will be harmful when iRobot, the company he founded, already manufactures weaponized robots. Similarly, Kurzweil makes the argument that advanced AI will have our values because it will come from us, and so, won’t be harmful. I interviewed both scientists ten years ago and they made the same arguments. In the intervening decade they’ve remained dolorously consistent, although I do recall listening to a talk by Brooks in which he claimed building weaponized robots is morally distinct from the political decision to use them.


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The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, G4S, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-work, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Each time the task changes—each time the location of the screw holes move, for example—production must stop until the machinery is reprogrammed. Today’s factories, especially large ones in high-wage countries, are highly automated, but they’re not full of general-purpose robots. They’re full of dedicated, specialized machinery that’s expensive to buy, configure, and reconfigure. Rethinking Factory Automation Rodney Brooks, who co-founded iRobot, noticed something else about modern, highly automated factory floors: people are scarce, but they’re not absent. And a lot of the work they do is repetitive and mindless. On a line that fills up jelly jars, for example, machines squirt a precise amount of jelly into each jar, screw on the top, and stick on the label, but a person places the empty jars on the conveyor belt to start the process.

—Hal Varian, chief economist at Google “In this optimistic book Brynjolfsson and McAfee clearly explain the bounty that awaits us from intelligent machines. But they argue that creating the bounty depends on finding ways to race with the machine rather than racing against the machine. That means people like me need to build machines that are easy to master and use. Ultimately, those who embrace the new technologies will be the ones who benefit most.” —Rodney Brooks, chairman and CTO of Rethink Robotics, Inc “New technologies may bring about our economic salvation or they may threaten our very livelihoods . . . or they may do both. Brynjolfsson and McAfee have written an important book on the technology-driven opportunities and challenges we all face in the next decade. Anyone who wants to understand how amazing new technologies are transforming our economy should start here.”


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Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Columbine, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, facts on the ground, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, out of africa, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus

PNAS 105, no.37 (2008): 14153–56. 40 Winston, Human Instinct. 41 Fisher, Anatomy of Love. Chapter 5. The Brain Is a Team of Rivals 1 See Marvin Minsky’s 1986 book Society of Mind. 2 Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel. 3 For a concrete illustration of the advantages and shortcomings of a “society” architecture, consider the concept of subsumption architecture, pioneered by the roboticist Rodney Brooks (Brooks, “A robust layered”). The basic unit of organization in the subsumption architecture is a module. Each module specializes in some independent, low-level task, such as controlling a sensor or actuator. The modules operate independently, each doing its own task. Each module has an input and an output signal. When the input of a module exceeds a predetermined threshold, the output of the module is activated.

This architecture tightly couples perception and action, producing a highly reactive machine. But the downside is that all patterns of behavior in these systems are prewired. Subsumption agents are fast, but they depend entirely on the world to tell them what to do; they are purely reflexive. In part, subsumption agents have far-from-intelligent behavior because they lack an internal model of the world from which to make conclusions. Rodney Brooks claims this is an advantage: by lacking representation, the architecture avoids the time necessary to read, write, utilize, and maintain the world models. But somehow, human brains do put in the time, and have clever ways of doing it. I argue that human brains will be simulated only by moving beyond the assembly line of sequestered experts into the idea of a conflict-based democracy of mind, where multiple parties pitch in their votes on the same topics. 4 For example, this approach is used commonly in artificial neural networks: Jacobs, Jordan, Nowlan, and Hinton, “Adaptive mixtures.” 5 Minsky, Society of Mind. 6 Ingle, “Two visual systems,” discussed in a larger framework by Milner and Goodale, The Visual Brain. 7 For the importance of conflict in the brain, see Edelman, Computing the Mind.


pages: 294 words: 96,661

The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, cognitive bias, computer age, crowdsourcing, dark matter, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, estate planning, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, full employment, Hans Rosling, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lateral thinking, life extension, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mary Lou Jepsen, Moravec's paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Now that we have explored the viewpoints of both camps, let’s take a step back and see what we can conclude out of all of this. Is there some spark that makes human intelligence fundamentally different from machine intelligence? Do we each have some élan vital that animates our reasoning that machines simply do not have? Is there some X factor we aren’t even aware of that is the source of human creativity? The answer is not obvious. Consider how Rodney Brooks, the renowned Australian roboticist, views a similar question. He thinks there is something in biology about living systems that we simply don’t understand. Something really big. He termed this missing something “the juice” and described it by talking about the difference between a robot trapped in a box who methodically goes through a series of steps to escape, versus an animal that very desperately wants to free itself.

And finally, the Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom likened the current effort to build an AGI to “children playing with a bomb.” Others in the industry find such doomsday concerns to be misguided. Andrew Ng, one of the most respected AI experts on the planet, says, “There’s also a lot of hype, that AI will create evil robots with super-intelligence. That’s an unnecessary distraction.” Rodney Brooks directly answers some of the concerns above by saying that the generalizations about AI made by those who aren’t deep in the technology are “a little dangerous.” He then goes on to add, “And we’ve certainly seen that recently with Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, all saying AI is just taking off and it’s going to take over the world very quickly. And the thing that they share is none of them work in this technological field.”


pages: 761 words: 231,902

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business cycle, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, coronavirus, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mitch Kapor, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

When you land in an airplane, your gate gets chosen by an A.I. scheduling system. Every time you use a piece of Microsoft software, you've got an A.I. system trying to figure out what you're doing, like writing a letter, and it does a pretty damned good job. Every time you see a movie with computer-generated characters, they're all little A.I. characters behaving as a group. Every time you playa video game, you're playing against an A.I. system. —RODNEY BROOKS, DIRECTOR OF THE MIT AI LAB161 I still run into people who claim that artificial intelligence withered in the 1980s, an argument that is comparable to insisting that the Internet died in the dot-com bust of the early 2000s.162 The bandwidth and price-performance of Internet technologies, the number of nodes (servers), and the dollar volume of e-commerce all accelerated smoothly through the boom as well as the bust and the period since.

An underlying problem with artificial intelligence that I have personally experienced in my forty years in this area is that as soon as an AI technique works, it's no longer considered AI and is spun off as its own field (for example, character recognition, speech recognition, machine vision, robotics, data mining, medical informatics, automated investing). Computer scientist Elaine Rich defines AI as "the study of how to make computers do things at which, at the moment, people are better." Rodney Brooks, director of the MIT AI Lab, puts it a different way: "Every time we figure out a piece of it, it stops being magical; we say, Oh, that's just a computation." I am also reminded of Watson's remark to Sherlock Holmes, "I thought at first that you had done something clever, but I see that there was nothing in it after all."164 That has been our experience as AI scientists. The enchantment of intelligence seems to be reduced to "nothing" when we fully understand its methods.

We understand that speed to be the speed of light, but there are suggestions that we may be able to circumvent this apparent limit (possibly by taking shortcuts through wormholes, for example) . . . . on the Human Body So many different people to be. —DONOVANI1 Cosmetic baby, plug into me And never, ever find another. And I realize no one's wise To my plastic fantastic lover. —JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, "PLASTIC FANTASTIC LOVER" Our machines will become much more like us, and we will become much more like our machines. —RODNEY BROOKS Once out of nature I shall never take My bodily form from any natural thing, But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make Of hammered gold and gold enamelling. —WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS, "SAILING TO BYZANTIUM" A radical upgrading of our bodies' physical and mental systems is already under way, using biotechnology and emerging genetic-engineering technologies. Beyond the next two decades we will use nanoengineered methods such as nanobots to augment and ultimately replace our organs.


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, global pandemic, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social intelligence, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

In one of his best-known documentaries, Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control, he offers up a character study of four people doing jobs that, at least in 1997, seemed eccentric in their obscurity: a topiary gardener named George Mendonca; a lion tamer named Dave Hoover; the world’s leading authority on the colony behavior of naked mole rats, Ray Mendez; and (this is the one that seems far less obscure today) Rodney Brooks, inventor of autonomous robots. Morris saw a connection, and a romanticism, in their various versions of control of nature. Undoubtedly he also found infectious their sheer enthusiasm for their craft. Bob Sutton of Stanford University takes a more academic interest in such people, since he studies creativity and innovation in organizations. He calls them “slow learners” of the organization’s code—which he quickly points out is a compliment, because they are somehow more impervious than their peers to “those overarching ‘shalts’ and ‘shalt nots’ which govern the actions, imply the sanctions, and in time permeate the souls of organization members.”

Product management in software is a critical function; its role is to ensure that the software has the features and functions that customers need, and that it comes to market with the necessary speed and quality. It often involves persuading and herding individuals who don’t actually report to the product manager, so it can be a challenging role. Jim Lawton, whom we also mentioned in Chapter 2, is chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics, a “collaborative robotics” manufacturer in Boston. Rethink was founded and is led by Rodney Brooks, a former MIT professor, who also plays the role of chief technology officer. He handles the vision and the research. It is Lawton’s job to understand what customers want from robots and translate that into product capabilities. He’s also an evangelist for the idea that robots and people can collaborate with each other. Rethink’s robot models, which now include the cutely named Baxter and Sawyer, don’t require a lot of detailed programming.


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Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Quartz An Impenetrable Machine: Emily Pronin A Question Without an Answer: Tony Conrad Conceptual Compasses for Deeper Generalists: Paul W. Ewald Art Making Going Rural: James Croak The Cat Is Out of the Bag: Max Tegmark Everyone Is an Expert: Roger Schank Pioneering Insights: Neil Gershenfeld Thinking in the Amazon: Daniel L. Everett The Virtualization of the Universe: David Gelernter Information-Provoked Attention Deficit Disorder: Rodney Brooks Present Versus Future Self: Brian Knutson I Am Realizing How Nice People Can Be: Paul Bloom My Perception of Time: Marina Abramović The Rotating Problem, or How I Learned to Accelerate My Mental Clock: Stanislas Dehaene I Must Confess to Being Perplexed: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Taking on the Habits of the Scientist, the Investigative Reporter, and the Media Critic: Yochai Benkler Thinking as Therapy in a World of Too Much: Ernst Pöppel internet is wind: Stefano Boeri Of Knowledge, Content, Place, and Space: Galia Solomonoff The Power of Conversation: Gloria Origgi A Real-Time Perpetual Time Capsule: Nick Bilton Getting from Jack Kerouac to the Pentatonic Scale: Jesse Dylan A Vehicle for Large-Scale Education About the Human Mind: Mahzarin R.

Thus “I” am an emergent property of my body and mind; “I” (my subjective experience of the world and my self ) am a virtual machine, of sorts; but “I” (or “consciousness”) am just as real (despite being virtual) as the pull-down menu built of software—or the picture that emerges from the pixels. Like industrialization, virtualization is an intellectual as well as a technological and economic transition; like industrialization, it’s a change in the texture of time. Information-Provoked Attention Deficit Disorder Rodney Brooks Panasonic Professor of Robotics, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab; author, Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us When a companion heads to the bathroom during dinner, I surreptitiously pull out my iPhone to check my e-mail and for incoming SMS. When I am writing computer code, I have my e-mail inbox visible at the corner, so that I can see if new messages arrive—even though I know that most that do arrive will be junk that has escaped my spam filters.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

We have preconceptions about how an intelligent robot should look and act, and these can blind us to what is already happening around us. To demand that artificial intelligence be humanlike is the same flawed logic as demanding that artificial flying be birdlike, with flapping wings. Robots, too, will think different. Consider Baxter, a revolutionary new workbot from Rethink Robotics. Designed by Rodney Brooks, the former MIT professor who invented the bestselling Roomba vacuum cleaner and its descendants, Baxter is an early example of a new class of industrial robots created to work alongside humans. Baxter does not look impressive. Sure, it’s got big strong arms and a flat-screen display like many industrial bots. And Baxter’s hands perform repetitive manual tasks, just as factory robots do. But it’s different in three significant ways.

Claudia Lamar assisted in research, fact-checking, and formatting help. Two of my former colleagues at Wired, Russ Mitchell and Gary Wolf, waded through an early rough draft and made important suggestions that I incorporated. Over the span of years that I wrote this material I benefited from the precious time of many interviewees. Among them were John Battelle, Michael Naimark, Jaron Lanier, Gary Wolf, Rodney Brooks, Brewster Kahle, Alan Greene, Hal Varian, George Dyson, and Ethan Zuckerman. Thanks to the editors of Wired and The New York Times Magazine, who were instrumental in shaping initial versions of portions of this book. Most important, this book is dedicated to my family—Giamin, Kaileen, Ting, and Tywen—who keep me grounded and pointed forward. Thank you. NOTES 1: BECOMING average lifespan of a phone app: Erick Schonfeld, “Pinch Media Data Shows the Average Shelf Life of an iPhone App Is Less Than 30 Days,” TechCrunch, February 19, 2009.


pages: 416 words: 112,268

Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Alfred Russel Wallace, Andrew Wiles, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, blockchain, brain emulation, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer vision, connected car, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, Gerolamo Cardano, ImageNet competition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the wheel, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, positional goods, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, Thales of Miletus, The Future of Employment, Thomas Bayes, Thorstein Veblen, transport as a service, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, zero-sum game

The idea that intelligent systems could simply observe the world to acquire the goals that should be pursued suggests that a sufficiently intelligent system will naturally abandon its initial objective in favor of the “right” objective. It’s hard to see why a rational agent would do this. Furthermore, it presupposes that there is a “right” objective out there in the world; it would have to be an objective on which iron-eating bacteria and humans and all other species agree, which is hard to imagine. The most explicit critique of Bostrom’s orthogonality thesis comes from the noted roboticist Rodney Brooks, who asserts that it’s impossible for a program to be “smart enough that it would be able to invent ways to subvert human society to achieve goals set for it by humans, without understanding the ways in which it was causing problems for those same humans.”31 Unfortunately, it’s not only possible for a program to behave like this; it is, in fact, inevitable, given the way Brooks defines the issue.

A diagnosis of AI control problems arising from an excess of testosterone: Steven Pinker, “Thinking does not imply subjugating,” in What to Think About Machines That Think, ed. John Brockman (Harper Perennial, 2015). 30. A seminal work on many philosophical topics, including the question of whether moral obligations may be perceived in the natural world: David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (John Noon, 1738). 31. An argument that a sufficiently intelligent machine cannot help but pursue human objectives: Rodney Brooks, “The seven deadly sins of AI predictions,” MIT Technology Review, October 6, 2017. 32. Pinker, “Thinking does not imply subjugating.” 33. For an optimistic view arguing that AI safety problems will necessarily be resolved in our favor: Steven Pinker, “Tech prophecy.” 34. On the unsuspected alignment between “skeptics” and “believers” in AI risk: Alexander, “AI researchers on AI risk.”


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, hedonic treadmill, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Similarly, some people are dismissive of the progress made by artificial intelligence since the discipline began 60 years ago, complaining that we don’t yet have a machine which knows it is alive. But it is daft to dismiss as failures today’s best pattern recognition systems, self-driving cars, and machines which can beat any human at many games of skill. Informed scepticism about near-term AGI We should take more seriously the arguments of very experienced AI researchers who claim that although the AGI undertaking is possible, it won’t be achieved for a very long time. Rodney Brooks, a veteran AI researcher and robot builder, says “I think it is a mistake to be worrying about us developing [strong] AI any time in the next few hundred years. I think the worry stems from a fundamental error in not distinguishing the difference between the very real recent advances in a particular aspect of AI, and the enormity and complexity of building sentient volitional intelligence.” Andrew Ng at Baidu and Yann LeCun at Facebook are of a similar mind, as we saw in the last chapter.


pages: 448 words: 117,325

Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, business process, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Firefox, Flash crash, George Akerlof, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of radio, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, loose coupling, market design, medical malpractice, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ransomware, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, security theater, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

The security risks from those precursor technologies are already with us, and they’re increasing as the technologies become more powerful and more prevalent. So, while I am worried about intelligent and even driverless cars, most of the risks are already prevalent in Internet-connected drivered cars. And while I am worried about robot soldiers, most of the risks are already prevalent in autonomous weapons systems. Also, as roboticist Rodney Brooks pointed out, “Long before we see such machines arising there will be the somewhat less intelligent and belligerent machines. Before that there will be the really grumpy machines. Before that the quite annoying machines. And before them the arrogant unpleasant machines.” I think we’ll see any new security risks coming long before they get here. OUR SUPPLY CHAINS ARE INCREASINGLY VULNERABLE There’s another class of attacks that we have addressed only peripherally, and that’s supply-chain attacks.

id=sjMsDwAAQBAJ. 86The US Department of Defense defines: Heather Roff (9 Feb 2016), “Distinguishing autonomous from automatic weapons,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, http://thebulletin.org/autonomous-weapons-civilian-safety-and-regulation-versus-prohibition/distinguishing-autonomous-automatic-weapons. 86If they are autonomous: Paul Scharre (29 Feb 2016), “Autonomous weapons and operational risk,” Center for a New American Security, https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/autonomous-weapons-and-operational-risk. 86Technologists Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking: Michael Sainato (19 Aug 2015), “Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates warn about artificial intelligence,” Observer, http://observer.com/2015/08/stephen-hawking-elon-musk-and-bill-gates-warn-about-artificial-intelligence. 86The risks might be remote: Stuart Russell et al. (11 Jan 2015), “An open letter: Research priorities for robust and beneficial artificial intelligence,” Future of Life Institute, https://futureoflife.org/ai-open-letter. 86I am less worried about AI: These two essays talk about that: Ted Chiang (18 Dec 2017), “Silicon Valley is turning into its own worst fear,” BuzzFeed, https://www.buzzfeed.com/tedchiang/the-real-danger-to-civilization-isnt-ai-its-runaway. Charlie Stross (Jan 2018), “Dude, you broke the future!” Charlie’s Diary, http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2018/01/dude-you-broke-the-future.html. 87“Long before we see such machines arising”: Rodney Brooks (7 Sep 2017), “The seven deadly sins of predicting the future of AI,” http://rodneybrooks.com/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-predicting-the-future-of-ai. 87For example, there is widespread suspicion: Sean Gallagher (15 Nov 2016), “Chinese company installed secret backdoor on hundreds of thousands of phones,” Ars Technica, https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/11/chinese-company-installed-secret-backdoor-on-hundreds-of-thousands-of-phones. 87computer security products from Kaspersky Lab: Cyrus Farivar (11 Jul 2017), “Kaspersky under scrutiny after Bloomberg story claims close links to FSB,” Ars Technica, https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/07/kaspersky-denies-inappropriate-ties-with-russian-govt-after-bloomberg-story. 87In 2018, US intelligence officials: Selena Larson (14 Feb 2018), “The FBI, CIA and NSA say Americans shouldn’t use Huawei phones,” CNN, http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/14/technology/huawei-intelligence-chiefs/index.html. 87Back in 1997, the Israeli company Check Point: Emily G.


pages: 402 words: 126,835

The Job: The Future of Work in the Modern Era by Ellen Ruppel Shell

3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, big-box store, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, follow your passion, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, game design, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial robot, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban renewal, white picket fence, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game

“For Amazon and all Internet retailers, moving things from one place to another is just about their entire cost,” he told me. “Basically people in that industry are used as an extension of a forklift. Human forklift extenders are pretty expensive. Robot arms cut that cost drastically.” Sawyer, an industrial robot created by Boston-based Rethink Robotics, offers an impressive illustration of how all-embracing those arms can be. Sawyer is the brainchild of Rodney Brooks, the inventor of both Roomba, the vacuum-cleaning robot, and PackBot, the robot used to clear bunkers in Iraq and Afghanistan and the World Trade Center after 9/11. Unlike Roomba and PackBot, Sawyer looks almost human—it has an animated flat-screen face and wheels where its legs should be. Simply grabbing and adjusting its monkey-like arm and guiding it through a series of motions “teaches” Sawyer whatever repeatable procedure one needs it to get done.

“Labor is the highest-cost factor” Tim Linder, “New Patent Report,” Connected World Magazine, January 28, 2014, https://connect­edworld.com/​new-patent-report-january-28-2014/. Sawyer (and his older brother, the two-armed Baxter robot) Dr. Brooks gave $4 per hour as the approximate cost of employing Baxter in response to a question at the Technonomy 2012 Conference in Tucson. See John Markoff, Andrew McAfee, and Rodney Brooks, “Where’s My Robot?,” Techonomy, November 2012, http://techonomy.com/​conf/​12-tucson/​future-of-work/​wheres-my-robot/. the Weather Channel broadcasts 18 million forecasts John Koetsier, “Data Deluge: What People Do on the Internet, Every Minute of Every Day,” Inc.com, July 25, 2017, https://www.inc.com/​john-koetsier/​every-minute-on-the-internet-2017-new-numbers-to-b.html. continuously improving its performance Many thanks to the very kind and patient data scientists who helped clarify this for me, and also see Christof Koch, “How the Computer Beat the Go Master,” Scientific American, March 19, 2016, https://www.scien­tificam­erican.com/​article/​how-the-computer-beat-the-go-master/.


pages: 193 words: 51,445

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin J. Rees

23andMe, 3D printing, air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, blockchain, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic transition, distributed ledger, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, Hyperloop, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, life extension, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, quantitative hedge fund, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanislav Petrov, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

Some experts, for instance Stuart Russell at Berkeley, and Demis Hassabis of DeepMind, think that the AI field, like synthetic biotech, already needs guidelines for ‘responsible innovation’. Moreover, the fact that AlphaGo achieved a goal that its creators thought would have taken several more years to reach has rendered DeepMind’s staff even more bullish about the speed of advancement. But others, like the roboticist Rodney Brooks (creator of the Baxter robot and the Roomba vacuum cleaner) think these concerns are too far from realisation to be worth worrying about—they remain less anxious about artificial intelligence than about real stupidity. Companies like Google, working closely with academia and government, lead the research into AI. These sectors now speak with one voice in highlighting the need to promote ‘robust and beneficial’ AI, but tensions may emerge when AI moves from the research and development phase to being a potentially massive money-spinner for global companies.


pages: 245 words: 64,288

Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy by Pistono, Federico

3D printing, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, future of work, George Santayana, global village, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, illegal immigration, income inequality, information retrieval, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, longitudinal study, means of production, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, post scarcity, QR code, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Rodney Brooks, selection bias, self-driving car, slashdot, smart cities, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, women in the workforce

They can get the correct results, in some cases with much better performances than many humans, even with high-level skills such as language manipulation, puns, and musical compositions (more on this later in this chapter). But how can we know if they really mean what they say, or if they understand any of it. I think the answer is that we do not know. And it could be that we cannot know, because the question does not even apply to them. Maybe intelligence is not an absolute property that exists independent from its environment, and it is us that ultimately see intelligence in others. Or, as Rodney Brooks put it:29 “Intelligence is in the eye of the observer” This is certainly a fascinating topic to dig into, and several excellent books have been written about it30; but it has little relevance when talking about how machine “intelligence” has profoundly changed our culture, and how it will dramatically change our economy and our way of living. From a purely practical point of view, if all we need is to complete a task, it does not matter if the agent performing such a task was really “intelligent”, or if it really understood what was going on and why.


pages: 477 words: 75,408

The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism by Calum Chace

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, post-work, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Until recently, the industrial robots used in car manufacturing (and elsewhere) were expensive, inflexible, and dangerous to be around. But the industrial robotics industry is changing: as well as growing quickly, its output is getting cheaper, safer and far more versatile. A landmark was reached in 2012 with the introduction of Baxter, a 3-foot tall robot (6 feet with his pedestal) from Rethink Robotics. The brainchild of Rodney Brooks, an Australian roboticist who used to be the director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Baxter is much less dangerous to be around. By early 2015, Rethink had received over $100m in funding from venture capitalists, including the investment vehicle of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Baxter was intended to disrupt the industrial robots market by being cheaper, safer, and easier to programme.


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Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith

Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, publish or perish, Rodney Brooks

Cuttlefish appear to have a form of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep: See Marcos Frank, Robert Waldrop, Michelle Dumoulin, Sara Aton, and Jean Boal, “A Preliminary Analysis of Sleep-Like States in the Cuttlefish Sepia officinalis,” PLoS One 7, no. 6 (2012): e38125. One central idea is that our body itself, rather than our brain: A classic general discussion is Andy Clark’s book Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997). For the robotics work, see Rodney Brooks, “New Approaches to Robotics,” Science 253 (1991): 1227–32. The paper by Hillel Chiel and Randall Beer is “The Brain Has a Body: Adaptive Behavior Emerges from Interactions of Nervous System, Body and Environment,” Trends in Neurosciences 23, no. 12 (1997): 553–57. Two interesting papers that make use of the concept of “embodiment” when thinking about octopuses are Letizia Zullo and Binyamin Hochner, “A New Perspective on the Organization of an Invertebrate Brain,” Communicative and Integrative Biology 4, no. 1 (2011): 26–29, and Hochner’s “How Nervous Systems Evolve in Relation to Their Embodiment: What We Can Learn from Octopuses and Other Molluscs,” Brain, Behavior and Evolution 82, no. 1 (2013): 19–30.


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The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date by Samuel Arbesman

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bioinformatics, British Empire, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chelsea Manning, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, David Brooks, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Galaxy Zoo, guest worker program, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, p-value, Paul Erdős, Pluto: dwarf planet, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, scientific worldview, social graph, social web, text mining, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation

But Magee and Koh didn’t simply expand Moore’s Law and examine information transformation. They looked at a whole host of technological functions to see how they have changed over the years. From information storage and information transportation to how we deal with energy, in each case they found mathematical regularities. This ongoing doubling of technological capabilities has even been found in robots. Rodney Brooks is a professor emeritus at MIT who has lived through much of the current growth in robotics and is himself a pioneer in the field. He even cofounded the company that created the Roomba. Brooks looked at how robots have improved over the years and found that their movement abilities—how far and how fast a robot can move—have gone through about thirteen doublings in twenty-six years. That means that we have had a doubling about every two years: right on schedule and similar to Moore’s Law.


pages: 230 words: 76,655

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, cashless society, cognitive bias, dark matter, Elon Musk, estate planning, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, superconnector, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Zipcar

But figuring out how to piggyback on, or use, their model—which is becoming widely known as “the sharing economy”—will provide ways for people to make money. In essence, people are taking what they already have—homes, cars, time—and using these assets to create wealth. Or, we can take it one step back: creating an information product that studies this trend and gives suggestions on how to make money is another way to generate income. * * * Trend #5: Robotics In 1988 I went to a lecture given by MIT professor Rodney Brooks. I was neck deep in studying the technology behind current-day robotics at the time. He said that robots don’t have to start out “smart.” They can figure out lots of small things along the way—just like humans, he said. He showed an example of a small robot that would bump into a wall a few times, then realize that a wall was there, and turn around and go a different direction. That robot, more than a quarter century later, is now called the Roomba and vacuums your room.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, global pandemic, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

While 9/11 1.0 was about human beings’ seizing aircraft and flying them into occupied buildings for terrorist effect, 9/11 2.0 makes it possible to disintermediate the humans and use robots in their stead. We, Robot In the future, I’m sure there will be a lot more robots in every aspect of life. If you told people in 1985 that in 25 years they would have computers in their kitchen, it would have made no sense to them. RODNEY BROOKS Throughout the history of film and television, we’ve seen robots presented in a variety of lights. Some were lovable and helpful such as WALL-E, Johnny Number 5 of Short Circuit, and C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars. Other robots were dangerous and out to destroy mankind, such as Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still and the T-800s from The Terminator. Thanks to advances in Moore’s law, robots are leaving the silver screen and joining reality.

We’ll Soon Be Fusing Technology with Living Matter,” Wired, May 27, 2014. 4 Despite the costs: Industrial Federation of Robotics, http://​www.​ifr.​org/​industrial-​robots/​statistics/. 5 In just one Hyundai factory: “Car, Airbag, Money: Robots Make Cars,” video, http://​channel.​nationalgeographic.​com/; Tamara Walsh, “Rise of the Robots: 2 Industries Increasingly Turning to Robotics for Innovation,” Motley Fool, Aug. 24, 2014. 6 Not to be outdone: Katie Lobosco, “Army of Robots to Invade Amazon Warehouses,” CNNMoney, May 22, 2014. 7 More impressive is the fact: Rodney Brooks, “Robots at Work,” World Future Society, Futurist, May–June 2013. 8 In more than 150 medical centers: “The Invisible Unarmed,” Economist, March 29, 2014. 293 Over 500,000 such operations: Stewart Pinkerton, “The Pros and Cons of Robotic Surgery,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 17, 2013. 9 Using similar technology: Jacques Marescaux et al., “Transcontinental Robot-Assisted Remote Telesurgery: Feasibility and Potential Applications,” Annals of Surgery 235, no. 4 (2002): 300–301. 10 Though the gains: For a definitive view into the world of military robotics, see Peter W.


pages: 472 words: 80,835

Life as a Passenger: How Driverless Cars Will Change the World by David Kerrigan

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, butterfly effect, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, commoditize, computer vision, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, edge city, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, invention of the wheel, Just-in-time delivery, loss aversion, Lyft, Marchetti’s constant, Mars Rover, megacity, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nash equilibrium, New Urbanism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

g=43194ac7-9d44-46f5-9e4c-9c759f8e3641 https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2017-05-16/waymo-s-next-challenge-making-driverless-passengers-feels-safe http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/03/americans-feel-unsafe-sharing-road-fully-self-driving-cars/ https://www.fastcompany.com/40419374/the-future-of-autonomous-vehicles-relies-on-middle-america Negative articles include: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2599426/emerging-technology/did-you-know-googles-self-driving-cars-cant-handle-99-of-roads-in-the-us.html https://www.technologyreview.com/s/530276/hidden-obstacles-for-googles-self-driving-cars/ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/15/the-guardian-view-on-self-driving-cars-apply-the-brakes https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/opinion/google-wants-driverless-cars-but-do-we.html?_r=0 Blogs: A selection of blogs on the topic of Driverless cars: http://penguindreams.org/blog/self-driving-cars-will-not-solve-the-transportation-problem/# http://utilware.com/autonomous.html http://ideas.4brad.com/rodney-brooks-pedestrian-interaction-andrew-ng-infrastructure-and-both-human-attitudes https://medium.com/@alexrubalcava/a-roadmap-for-a-world-without-drivers-573aede0c968 http://www.newgeography.com/content/005024-preparing-impact-driverless-cars http://blog.piekniewski.info/2017/05/11/a-car-safety-myths-and-facts/ https://medium.com/@christianhern/self-driving-cars-as-the-new-toolbar-8c8a47a3c598 https://backchannel.com/self-driving-cars-will-improve-our-cities-if-they-dont-ruin-them-2dc920345618#.4va0brsyg Videos: A selection of Videos on the topic of Driverless cars: Video of Tesla Auto pilot - https://thescene.com/watch/arstechnica/cars-technica-hands-on-with-tesla-s-autopilot https://youtu.be/tiwVMrTLUWg (15 Minute TED Talk by Chris Urmson of Google, 2015) * * * [1] http://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Business%20Functions/McKinsey%20Digital/Our%20Insights/Disruptive%20technologies/MGI_Disruptive_technologies_Full_report_May2013.ashx [2] http://www.morganstanley.com/articles/autonomous-cars-the-future-is-now [3] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/Media/WEF_FutureofJobs.pdf [4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Amara [5] https://twitter.com/BenedictEvans/status/763209924302090240 [6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes#Dichotomy_paradox [7] https://twitter.com/BenedictEvans/status/771115479393906688 [8] https://lilium.com/ [9] https://www.uber.com/info/elevate/ [10] The Salmon of Doubt, Douglas Adams, 2002 [11] http://farmerandfarmer.org/mastery/builder.html [12] https://global.oup.com/academic/product/innovation-and-its-enemies-9780190467036?


pages: 283 words: 81,376

The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation That Predicts the Future Is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe by William Poundstone

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Arthur Eddington, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, digital map, discounted cash flows, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, Elon Musk, Gerolamo Cardano, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, Peter Thiel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, time value of money, Turing test

The longer the think tanks are able to do that, the more likely they are to come up with conceptual frameworks, options, and solutions that would be useful when an intelligence explosion becomes imminent. Better that than for an isolated team of engineers to have to invent an ethical universe over the weekend that AI becomes all-powerful. As Yudkowsky said, “I don’t think we should ignore a problem we’ll predictably have to panic about later.” In 2018 Jeff Bezos and Amazon hosted a conference in Palm Springs where neuroscientist Sam Harris debated MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks (cofounder of iRobot, known for carpet-cleaning robots). Harris expressed concern that competitors in an AI arms race would ignore precautions. “This is something you made up,” Brooks objected. Harris had no data; he was saying things that could not be proven either way. Of course, nobody has data about a technology that doesn’t yet exist. Absence of evidence doesn’t prove a technology is safe.


pages: 307 words: 88,180

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee

AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, business cycle, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, ImageNet competition, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, new economy, pattern recognition, pirate software, profit maximization, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, The Future of Employment, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Y Combinator

Artificial general intelligence would be a major turning point in the relationship between humans and machines—what many predict would be the most significant single event in the history of the human race. It’s a milestone that I believe we should not cross unless we have first definitively solved all problems of control and safety. But given the relatively slow rate of progress on fundamental scientific breakthroughs, I and other AI experts, among them Andrew Ng and Rodney Brooks, believe AGI remains farther away than often imagined. Does that mean I see nothing but steady material progress and glorious human flourishing in our AI future? Not at all. Instead, I believe that civilization will soon face a different kind of AI-induced crisis. This crisis will lack the apocalyptic drama of a Hollywood blockbuster, but it will disrupt our economic and political systems all the same, and even cut to the core of what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business cycle, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

For more than a decade, FANUC, a Japanese builder of robots for other manufacturers, has made those robots with . . . robots, at the rate of fifty units every twenty-four hours. The FANUC facility can run, without human supervision, for days—and stops only to allow shippers to remove the completed robots.31 In the United States, meanwhile, companies are now snapping up robot technology as rapidly as it comes onto the market. Rodney Brooks, a robotics pioneer, has recently introduced a model, dubbed Baxter, that is designed to work on an assembly line. The model sells for around twenty-two thousand dollars32—less than the average factory worker’s pay—and is so easy to program that line workers will be able to “teach” it how to do tasks. Baxter is meant to work alongside humans, but Brooks says some companies see Baxter as a way not simply to complement human workers, but to avoid the humans altogether.


pages: 846 words: 232,630

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, assortative mating, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine, Turing test

If a particular species' brain design has already gone down the need-to-know path with regard to some control problem, only minor modifications (fine tuning, you might say) can be readily made to the existing structures, so the only hope of making a major revision of the internal environment to account for new problems, new features of the external environment that matter, is to submerge the old {377} hard-wiring under a new layer of preemptive control (a theme developed in the work of the AI researcher Rodney Brooks [e.g., 1991]). It is these higher levels of control that have the potential for vast increases in versatility. And it is at these levels in particular that we should look for the role of language (when it finally arrives on the scene), in turning our brains into virtuoso preselectors. We engage in our share of rather mindless routine behavior, but our important acts are often directed on the world with incredible cunning, composing projects exquisitely designed under the influence of vast libraries of information about the world.

The idea is to hand-code all the millions of facts in an encyclopedia (plus all the other millions of facts that everyone knows, so there is no point in putting them in the encyclopedia — such as the facts that mountains are bigger than molehills, and toasters can't fly), and then attach an inference engine that can update, preserve consistency, deduce surprising implications, and in general service the world-knowledge base. For an entirely different approach to AI, consider Rodney Brooks' and Lynn Stein's humanoid-robot project (Dennett 1994c). 7. Some have argued that my account of patterns in Dennett 1991b is epiphenomenalistn about content. This is my reply. 8. Since these are just boxes of truths, no support is hereby given to the "language of thought" hypothesis (Fodor 1975). I supposed that the world knowledge was stored in a quasi-linguistic form just to make the storytelling easier (which is probably also the reason motivating most researchers in cognitive science, who adopt the language-of-thought hypothesis out of convenience!).


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, Norman Macrae, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, twin studies, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

When you land in an airplane, your gate gets chosen by an AI scheduling system. Every time you use a piece of Microsoft software, you’ve got an AI system trying to figure out what you’re doing, like writing a letter, and it does a pretty damned good job. Every time you see a movie with computer-generated characters, they’re all little AI characters behaving as a group. Every time you play a video game, you’re playing against an AI system. —Rodney Brooks, Director, MIT Computer Science and AI Laboratory288 CHAPTER 13 MAKING US OBSOLETE? Will Als impoverish humanity by stealing our jobs? No human occupation is safe from future AI incursions. I can imagine highly proficient robot teachers, artists, soldiers, plumbers, prostitutes, social workers, computer programmers. . . . In the next few decades, all of my readers might have their market value decimated by intelligent machines.


pages: 327 words: 97,720

Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo

Alfred Russel Wallace, biofilm, butterfly effect, Celebration, Florida, corporate governance, delayed gratification, experimental subject, impulse control, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, longitudinal study, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, post-industrial society, Rodney Brooks, Ted Kaczynski, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Walter Mischel

In the 1980s, well removed from talk of animal spirits, neuroscientists introduced computer metaphors to talk about how the mind functions. But human intelligence is not something operating on the basis of closed circuits locked away inside the skull. If you want to create a brain as versatile as a human brain, its intelligence—like human intelligence—must be “embodied.” This kind of information processing works from the ground up, through sensory (which means bodily) input. Rodney Brooks, who makes robots, gave up trying to make them smarter by focusing solely on symbolic processing—playing chess or doing advanced mathematics—the kind of tasks, as he told the New York Times, that “highly educated male scientists found challenging.”8 If you want to create a robot that can get along in the world, you need to give it the kind of capabilities that human toddlers need to master: knowing the difference between self and other, learning to interact with the physical environment, being able to distinguish between chalk and cheese.


pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

The world is known to us because we live and act in it, and accumulate experience. Surprisingly, it is in the field of robotics that some of the most convincing evidence has emerged that inference, calculation, and representation are a grossly inefficient way to go about negotiating a physical environment. In his now-classic article “Intelligence Without Representation,” published in the journal Artificial Intelligence in 1991, Rodney Brooks wrote that “the world is its own best model.” Roboticists are learning a lesson that evolution learned long ago, namely, that the task of solving problems needn’t be accomplished solely by the brain, but can be distributed among the brain, the body, and the world. Consider the problem of catching a fly ball. According to the standard view, we might suppose that the visual system provides inputs about the current position of the ball, and a separate processor (the brain) predicts its future trajectory.


pages: 360 words: 100,991

Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence by Richard Yonck

3D printing, AI winter, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Berlin Wall, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, friendly AI, ghettoisation, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of writing, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Skype, social intelligence, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing test, twin studies, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, working-age population, zero day

As a young girl, Breazeal says she was fascinated by the idea of personal robots. In her book, Designing Sociable Robots, Breazeal reveals how when she saw the movie Star Wars when it first came out in 1977, she was enthralled with the droids C3PO and R2D2.8 Years later, with a degree in engineering and a background in the sciences, Breazeal was working on her master’s in artificial intelligence at MIT when she was introduced to robotics by its then director Rodney Brooks. With that life-changing introduction, Breazeal realized this was the field for which she was destined. It was in 1997—in the midst of Breazeal’s studies at MIT—that the Sojourner Rover landed on Mars, becoming the first robot to ever land on another planet. The up-and-coming roboticist found herself wondering why we could put robots in space, yet we still didn’t have them in our homes. She eventually concluded that it was because robots didn’t yet interact with us in a way that was social or natural.


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

In Nanoscale, edited by N. Cameron and M. E. Mitchell. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2007. Bostrom, N., and M. M. Ćirković, eds. Global Catastrophic Risks. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Bostrom, N., and E. Yudkowsky. “The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.” In Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence, edited by K. Frankish and W. Ramsey. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Brooks, R. A. “I, Rodney Brooks, Am a Robot.” IEEE Spectrum 45, no. 6 (2008). Brundage, M., et al., “The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation.” https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.07228. Brynjolfsson, E., and A. McAfee. The Second Machine Age. New York: Norton, 2014. Bryson, J., M. Diamantis, and T. Grant. “Of, For, and By the People: The Legal Lacuna of Synthetic Persons.” Artificial Intelligence and Law 25, no. 3 (September 2017): 273–291.


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Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Within weeks of the product’s introduction, both university-based engineering teams and do-it-yourself innovators had hacked into the Kinect and posted YouTube videos of robots that were now able to see in three dimensions.4 Industrial Perception likewise decided to base its vision system on the technology that powers the Kinect, and the result is an affordable machine that is rapidly approaching a nearly human-level ability to perceive and interact with its environment while dealing with the kind of uncertainty that characterizes the real world. A Versatile Robotic Worker Industrial Perception’s robot is a highly specialized machine focused specifically on moving boxes with maximum efficiency. Boston-based Rethink Robotics has taken a different track with Baxter, a lightweight humanoid manufacturing robot that can easily be trained to perform a variety of repetitive tasks. Rethink was founded by Rodney Brooks, one of the world’s foremost robotics researchers at MIT and a co-founder of iRobot, the company that makes the Roomba automated vacuum cleaner as well as military robots used to defuse bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Baxter, which costs significantly less than a year’s wages for a typical US manufacturing worker, is essentially a scaled-down industrial robot that is designed to operate safely in close proximity to people.


pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, buy and hold, call centre, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?, zero-sum game

For Bezos, in addition to his family and Amazon, there’s Blue Origin, where he typically spends each Wednesday, and Bezos Expeditions, his personal venture-capital firm, which holds stakes in companies such as Twitter, the taxi service Uber, the news site Business Insider, and the robot firm Rethink Robotics. Since August of 2013, Bezos has owned the Washington Post newspaper and has said he wants to apply his passion for invention and experimentation to reviving the storied newspaper. “He invests in things where information technology can disrupt existing models,” says Rodney Brooks, the MIT robotics professor behind Rethink Robotics, which aims to put inexpensive robots on manufacturing assembly lines. “He’s certainly not hands-on but he has been a good person to talk to when various conundrums come up. When we go ask him questions, it’s worth listening to his answers.” Bezos coordinates closely with the creators of the Clock of the Long Now and oversees its quarterly review sessions, which the clock engineers call Ticks.


pages: 303 words: 67,891

Advances in Artificial General Intelligence: Concepts, Architectures and Algorithms: Proceedings of the Agi Workshop 2006 by Ben Goertzel, Pei Wang

AI winter, artificial general intelligence, bioinformatics, brain emulation, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, epigenetics, friendly AI, G4S, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, John Conway, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Occam's razor, p-value, pattern recognition, performance metric, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, semantic web, statistical model, strong AI, theory of mind, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Y2K

Although – yeah, I am just too scared about predictions to make any, so I think I am just not going to. [Steve Grand]: Well, I am tempted to say that it is all a bottleneck. If there was a panel like this in 1960 that was asked the very opposite question: which aspects of AGI do you think are really easy, what answers would have been given? Those would be my answers for the really hard aspects. I’m talking about things like vision and motor control, sensory stuff and perception. Rodney Brooks has a copy of a memo from Marvin Minsky, in which he suggested charging an undergraduate for a summer project with the task of solving vision. I don’t know where that undergraduate is now, but I guess he hasn’t finished yet. So these are really, really hard problems. But they are the things that all of us here, or most of us, not including me, are sort of brushing under the carpet. I think since this is primarily a symbolic AI conference, the problem we have is extending symbolic AI downwards far enough.


pages: 688 words: 147,571

Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence by Jacob Turner

Ada Lovelace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, autonomous vehicles, Basel III, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, effective altruism, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, friendly fire, future of work, hive mind, Internet of things, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Loebner Prize, medical malpractice, Nate Silver, natural language processing, nudge unit, obamacare, off grid, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan: Or, The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill (London: Andrew Crooke, 1651), 80. In this section, we avoid setting out our taxonomy by referring the term “legal persons” because the philosophical status of “personality” could lead to confusion by eliding various of the characteristics which we identify as features of being a subject and an agent, respectively. See, for example, Rodney Brooks, Robot: The Future of Flesh and Machines (London: Allen Lane/Penguin Press, 2002), 194–195; Benjamin Allgrove, Legal Personality for Artificial Intellects: Pragmatic Solution or Science Fiction (DPhil Dissertation, University of Oxford, 2004). 19See, for example, Shawn Bayern, Thomas Burri, Thomas D. Grant, Daniel M. Häusermann, Florian Möslein, and Richard Williams, “Company Law and Autonomous Systems: A Blueprint for Lawyers, Entrepreneurs, and Regulators”, Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Summer 2017), 135–161, for a discussion of different legal forms through which AI might be recognised as a legal subject in various systems.


pages: 573 words: 157,767

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Andrew Wiles, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, computer vision, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fermat's Last Theorem, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information asymmetry, information retrieval, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

The computer scientist Eric Baum, in What Is Thought? (2004), calls such arrangements “politburo control” and notes that this top-down way to accomplish complex tasks is not the brain’s way. Economists have shown why centrally planned economies don’t work as well as market economies, and centrally planned (top-down) architectures are ineffective brain-organizers for much the same reasons. As roboticist Rodney Brooks has observed (personal communication) the hardware of existing digital computers depends critically on millions (or billions) of identical elements, perfect clones of each other almost down to the atomic level, so that they will always respond as they are supposed to respond: robotically! Engineers have managed to create the technology to print microscopic computer circuits with millions of identical flip-flops each reliably storing a 0 or 1 until ordered (from on high) to “flip the bit.”


pages: 590 words: 152,595

Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War by Paul Scharre

active measures, Air France Flight 447, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, automated trading system, autonomous vehicles, basic income, brain emulation, Brian Krebs, cognitive bias, computer vision, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, DevOps, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, fault tolerance, Flash crash, Freestyle chess, friendly fire, IFF: identification friend or foe, ImageNet competition, Internet of things, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Mark Zuckerberg, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, pattern recognition, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sensor fusion, South China Sea, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Turing test, universal basic income, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, William Langewiesche, Y2K, zero day

Technology, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/30/libratus-poker-artificial-intelligence-professional-human-players-competition. 242 “imperfect information” game: Will Knight, “Why Poker Is a Big Deal for Artificial Intelligence,” MIT Technology Review, January 23, 2017, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603385/why-poker-is-a-big-deal-for-artificial-intelligence/. 242 world’s top poker players had handily beaten: Cameron Tung, “Humans Out-Play an AI at Texas Hold ’Em—For Now,” WIRED, May 21, 2015, https://www.wired.com/2015/05/humans-play-ai-texas-hold-em-now/. 242 upgraded AI “crushed”: Cade Metz, “A Mystery AI Just Crushed the Best Human Players at Poker,” WIRED, January 31, 2017, https://www.wired.com/2017/01/mystery-ai-just-crushed-best-human-players-poker/. 242 “as soon as something works”: Micah Clark, interview, May 4, 2016. 242 “as soon as a computer can do it”: Stuart Armstrong, interview, November 18, 2016. This point was also made by authors of a Stanford study of AI. Peter Stone, Rodney Brooks, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ryan Calo, Oren Etzioni, Greg Hager, Julia Hirschberg, Shivaram Kalyanakrishnan, Ece Kamar, Sarit Kraus, Kevin Leyton-Brown, David Parkes, William Press, AnnaLee Saxenian, Julie Shah, Milind Tambe, and Astro Teller. “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030.” One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence: Report of the 2015–2016 Study Panel, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, September 2016, 13. http://ai100.stanford.edu/2016-report. 243 “responsible use”: AAAI.org, http://www.aaai.org/home.html. 243 “most of the discussion about superintelligence”: Tom Dietterich, interview, April 27, 2016. 243 “runs counter to our current understandings”: Thomas G.


pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

"Robert Solow", airport security, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, global pandemic, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Laplace demon, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

This book is fairly scrupulous about citing the origin of its ideas, but some people I interviewed were more influential in determining its direction than might be inferred by the number of times that they appear in the text. This list includes Daniel Kahneman, Vasik Rajlich, Dr. Alexander “Sandy” McDonald, Roger Pielke Jr., John Rundle, Thomas Jordan, Irene Eckstrand, Phil Gordon, Chris Volinsky, Robert Bell, Tim Berners-Lee, Lisa Randall, Jay Rosen, Simon Jackman, Diane Lauderdale, Jeffrey Sachs, Howard Lederer, Rodney Brooks, Henry Abbott, and Bruce Bueno de Mesquita among others. I hope to return all these favors someday. I will start by buying the first beer for anybody on this list, and the first three for anybody who should have been, but isn’t. —Nate Silver Brooklyn, NY NOTES INTRODUCTION 1. The Industrial Revolution is variously described as starting anywhere from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth centuries.


pages: 901 words: 234,905

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Defenestration of Prague, desegregation, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, Hobbesian trap, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Joan Didion, long peace, meta analysis, meta-analysis, More Guns, Less Crime, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Potemkin village, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Rodney Brooks, Saturday Night Live, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the new new thing, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

They must be equipped with mental machinery that can extract the beliefs and values underlying other people’s behavior so that the children themselves can become competent members of the culture.3 Even the humblest act of cultural learning—imitating the behavior of a parent or a peer—is more complicated than it looks. To appreciate what goes on in our minds when we effortlessly learn from other people, we have to imagine what it would be like to have some other kind of mind. Fortunately, cognitive scientists have imagined it for us by plumbing the minds of robots, animals, and people whose minds are impaired. The artificial intelligence researcher Rodney Brooks, who wants to build a robot capable of learning by imitation, immediately faced this problem when he considered using techniques for learning that are common in computer science: The robot is observing a person opening a glass jar. The person approaches the robot and places the jar on a table near the robot. The person rubs his hands together and then sets himself to removing the lid from the jar.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

Cellan-Jones, “Stephen Hawking Warns Artificial Intelligence Could End Mankind,” BBC News, Dec. 2, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540. 20. In a 2014 poll of the hundred most-cited AI researchers, just 8 percent feared that high-level AI posed the threat of “an existential catastrophe”: Müller & Bostrom 2014. AI experts who are publicly skeptical include Paul Allen (2011), Rodney Brooks (2015), Kevin Kelly (2017), Jaron Lanier (2014), Nathan Myhrvold (2014), Ramez Naam (2010), Peter Norvig (2015), Stuart Russell (2015), and Roger Schank (2015). Skeptical psychologists and biologists include Roy Baumeister (2015), Dylan Evans (2015a), Gary Marcus (2015), Mark Pagel (2015), and John Tooby (2015). See also A. Elkus, “Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence,” Slate, Oct. 31, 2014; M.