topic: artificial intelligences

do we need a Butlerian Jihad?

humanity's inheritors

Assaulted by any number of articles on the rapid advance of ‘deep learning’, I have been awoken to the reality that the pattern recognition abilities of computers have galloped ahead, so that my cosy¬†complacency that computers were useless at recognising faces, understanding what was in a photograph etc – something that we are so brilliant at – has been overturned. Not only can computers understand what they’re seeing in a photograph, but they will soon […]

the intelligence trap

Many believe that human intelligence has escaped the gravity well of ‘animal stupidity’, and that now we roam an unlimited space of thought where everything must eventually come within our understanding. Beneath this belief lies another: that humans are set apart from other animals – an idea that may be an expression of species neuroticism, and that finds its clearest expression in many religions. This special pleading has been eroded by the discoveries of science, […]

artificial intelligence

From ancient times man has dreamed of being able to give life to one of his creations. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus (Daedalus as well, I think?) constructed ‘robots’ (Talos, for example, Hephaestus’ gigantic bronze warrior of “Jason and the Argonauts” fame). It was not understood then how intelligence was going to be far more difficult to produce artificially than self-powered movement. When I was at school, there was much talk about chess playing computers and […]