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Managing The Artificial Intelligence Risk47:41
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Making artificial intelligence work for, not against, humanity. We’ll look at a big new push to get it right.

In this March 18, 2009 photo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Huan Liu of Shanghai, China, positions a robot gardener near a tomato plant while demonstrating its capabilities in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory on the schools campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP)
In this March 18, 2009 photo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Huan Liu of Shanghai, China, positions a robot gardener near a tomato plant while demonstrating its capabilities in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory on the schools campus in Cambridge, Mass. (AP)

Artificial intelligence has always struck humans as exciting and scary.  We can’t resist it. And we don’t know where it will take us. Now that we’re talking to Siri and going where Google Maps point us and contemplating self-driving cars, it’s getting more present, more palpable. And still come the warnings. Elon Musk calls AI our biggest existential threat. Stephen Hawking asks if it can ever be controlled at all. Musk and others are funding an effort to design safe AI. That will not take over the world. Can that be done? This hour On Point: controlling artificial intelligence.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Max Tegmark, co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, a research organization focused on addressing the risks of artificial intelligence. Professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Author of "Our Mathematical Universe." (@tegmark)

Manuela Veloso, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on ways to help robots explain their behavior to humans.

Thomas Dietterich, professor of computer science at Oregon State University, where he is also the director of intelligent systems research the school of electrical engineering and computer science.

From Tom’s Reading List

c|net: Elon Musk-backed group gives $7M to explore artificial intelligence risks — "It's not just the sci-fi community envisioning a world where machines take over. It's a concern among some prominent visionaries, including a group that just shelled out nearly $7 million for research into potential ill effects of artificial intelligence."

New York Times: The Real Threat Posed by Powerful Computers — "The real worry, specialists in the field say, is a computer program rapidly overdoing a single task, with no context. A machine that makes paper clips proceeds unfettered, one example goes, and becomes so proficient that overnight we are drowning in paper clips. In other words, something really dumb happens, at a global scale."

Huffington Post: Transcending Complacency on Superintelligent Machines — "Artificial intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy!, and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fueled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. Such achievements will probably pale against what the coming decades will bring."

This program aired on July 16, 2015.

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