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You're invited: Strategies for an Artificially Superintelligent Future
Wed, 10th May 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

David Miller, a Wellington business consultant with a social science background, invites you to join a discussion on the future of artificial intelligence. The talk is part of the Hutt City Council's STEMM Festival.

The topic of the session is something that Miller has a fascination of: The future arrival of “The Singularity” – a point at which superintelligence exceeds human intelligence then rapidly accelerates beyond it.

Readily admitting no domain expertise in the technical disciplines associated with artificial intelligence, Miller has found the prospect of superintelligence a n interesting one worth talking about. He notes that some of the world's relevant leading thinkers, such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have expressed their concerns on the subject. Miller will draw on the writings and thinking of Professor Nick Bostrom at Oxford University.

Miller says that a common belief is that there is no concern for such a future, but thinks keeping an open mind is important.

“There are of course some who assure us that there is no risk. But remember the bright sparks (sometimes “experts” in their day) who assured us that aeroplanes, computers and telephones had no future when they were first invented?” he says.

The session he has initiated is not concerned with the short term technicalities of artificial intelligence, but rather operates on the assumption that superintelligence poses significant threats to humans.

The topics he will cover include:

  • What sorts of superintelligence might develop, and what are the different risks associated with these?
  • How important in assessing risks are self-awareness and sentience vis a vis sheer intelligence?
  • What type of sneaky short-term strategies might superintelligence adopt?
  • What timeframe are we talking about?
  • What are the likely human sources of superintelligence and what are the risk implications? (I believe these are hugely significant)
  • Can we learn from academia, industry, science fiction writers and producers and from social science?
  • What mechanisms and approaches are possible to minimise the risks?
  • How might the global community (i.e. human race) respond and develop strategies to protect future generations? What precedents are there and what is different about superintelligence that is particularly concerning?

The session is designed to get people engaged in healthy discussion on the topic. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion and perhaps to cover off some global issues which Miller says have not been well covered in the literature to date.

The session takes place Thursday 18th May, 5.30pm to 6.30pm at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt.

For those interested you can sign up at EXOSphere here or simply email david@vantagegroup.co.nz to book or ask any questions.