General Intelligence in General Terms

Here’s the video of my short talk at the Future of Mind symposium, given on a panel with Patricia Reed, Reza Negarestani, and the guys behind the New Centre for Research and Practice. It was a weird and wonderful event, with people from very different backgrounds and rather different opinions talking about a diverse range of things. Ed Keller of the New School and Ben Goertzel of the OpenCog Foundation did a great job bringing all these voices together, and I hope it happens again.

If the embedded link doesn’t carry the timestamp properly, my talk begins at 1:55:31 or thereabouts. The whole of the symposium is available on youtube for your viewing pleasure.

PS: The slides for the talk are available here.

2 Responses to “General Intelligence in General Terms”

  1. […] There is a storm on the cultural horizon and its name is artificial intelligence (AI). It is easy to understate the variety and overstate the power of the techniques that are the current state of the art in the field. The combination of deep learning neural networks and big data has produced massive advances in automating various tasks, from text to speech translation to facial recognition, and begun to make inroads into limited forms of artificial creativity as an unanticipated side effect (e.g., Nevertheless, the amount of data required to train up an artificial neural network for effective natural language processing is orders of magnitude greater than that required for an human infant to become fluent. This is no reason to be complacent, however. The maturation and implementation of the technologies we already have will cause massive cultural changes, completely transforming the economic landscape as some professions adapt and others are automated out of existence. This will force us to reappraise many features of our own intelligence that we are used to taking for granted, not least our creative capacities, be they in the arena of problem solving or of aesthetic invention. As we begin to outsource more of our own cognitive functions the social and political questions regarding augmented intelligence will become increasingly sharp. This is nothing compared to the questions surrounding artificial general intelligence (AGI), or the creation of machines that can think as well as us or near enough to raise questions about whether they should count as persons. I think that philosophy can help prepare us for these questions, by giving us the tools to think about the broader cultural consequences of the societal changes these advances will bring. But more than this, I think that philosophy can help clarify questions that are central to the research program of AI, such as what precisely what ‘general intelligence’ means ( […]

  2. […] minutes or so are absent entirely. Luckily, those first 10 minutes cover much the same ground as my talk at the Future of Mind Conference. Technical issues aside, I’m mostly happy with the content […]

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