Fear Factor: NY Times Cover Story on Scary AI

Fear Factor: NY Times Covers Story on Scary AIThe story on the cover of the influential Sunday edition of the New York Times reads “Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man.”  Not news to many h+ readers, but possibly news to at least some NYT readers.

The John Markoff article reports on a meeting organized by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence under  the guidance of Microsoft researcher Eric Horvitz.  The article says that “The meeting on artificial intelligence could be pivotal to the future of the field.”

The dangers that were emphasized include the use of AI for military purposes (the consequences of taking the human out of the loop…  see today’s lead article for an alternative view), job loss, and privacy loss.  All legitimate issues… not just for the future, but for the present.

However, a note of caution regarding this particular confabulation is appropriate.  According to one leading AI researcher, “In my opinion, this was a carefully assembled congregation of conservatives, who came to the precise conclusions I would expect given their backgrounds.  No one from the AGI community participated.”

Hopefully, if this group is “pivotal to the future of the field,” it will become more inclusive, or alternatively, a different, more inclusive group will come to dominate the discourse.


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