Collaborating Authors


The Chinese Room Argument: Ray Kurzweil vs. John Searle


" 'When we hear it said that wireless valves think,' [Sir Geoffrey] Jefferson said, 'we may despair of language.' But no cybernetician had said the valves thought, no more than anyone would say that the nerve-cells thought. It was the system as a whole that'thought', in Alan's [Turing] view…" -- Andrew Hodges (from his book Alan Turing: the Enigma). In his rewarding book, How to Create a Mind, Ray Kurzweil tackles John Searle's Chinese room argument. That said, I do find its philosophical sections somewhat naïve. Of course there's no reason why a "world-renowned inventor, thinker and futurist" should also be an accomplished philosopher.

Human error, not artificial intelligence, poses the greatest threat Letter

The Guardian

The long read (28 March) on the threat from artificial intelligence misses the point. In a paper written in 1951, Alan Turing demolished all the arguments against AI one day surpassing human intelligence, but there is no sign that that "singularity" is on the horizon. The imminent threat is that we've built a digital society on software foundations that are too vulnerable to failures and cyber-attacks, as a recent report from the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre oversight board powerfully illustrated. The risk that humanity faces comes not from malevolent machines but from incompetent programmers who leave their customers vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other failures. If we survive long enough to see truly intelligent machines, then there is no known barrier to them developing consciousness.

Truly Intelligent Machines: The Impact of AI that can ThinkSlug:


Intelligent machines are one of the most controversial types of technology in development today. And I hate to break it to those of you who are concerned about the use of AI-powered robots, but intelligent machines aren't going anywhere. Recently, leaders like IBM and Alphabet have been pushing AI to its outer limits, teaching it to not only master processes or answer simple questions, but to actively engage in arguments and develop its own "imagination." In essence, technologists are trying to teach intelligent machines to do the things that--in the past--techies have assured us only humans can do. And right now, it seems they're being trained to do just about everything.

AI leaders: Machines will quickly outsmart us when they achieve human-level intelligence


Oxford philosopher and author Nick Bostrom (left) and DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis (right). Machines will quickly become significantly smarter than humans when they achieve human level intelligence, according to a high-profile panel of artificial intelligence (AI) leaders. A YouTube video released by the Future of Humanity Institute this week shows Elon Musk, the billionaire cofounder of Tesla, SpaceX and PayPal, talking on a panel earlier this month alongside the likes of DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, who sold his company to Google for £400 million in 2014, and Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom. "Once we get to human level-AI, how long before we get to where things start taking off?" asked MIT professor and panel moderator Max Tegmark, citing an "intelligence explosion." Tegmark added: "Some people say days or hours.