We Need To Think Through Artificial Intelligence Now

by Malc on August 2, 2011

DARPA Grand Challenge 2005

DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 (Wikipedia)

Significant artificial intelligence – “AI” – is just around the corner. 2011 has been a particularly good year for it: IBM computer Watson beat the two top Jeopardy! quiz show contestants in February. But some of the other milestones of AI have been particularly memorable.

The first major AI event many remember was when IBM’s Deep Blue computer beat chess master Gary Kasparov in a series of games. This was only in 1997. It was preceded by a number of attempts to beat a chess master – which failed.

Then in 2005, Stanford University produced a robot which drove alone along a desert trail for 131 miles. This was the DARPA challenge. Similarly, the previous couple of years saw attempts which failed.

Human ingenuity is such that we keep trying until we get there. And so with AI.

It’s been said that it’s about time that we started to focus the debate on how to deal with the emerging technology before it’s too late to influence it.

The Singularity Institute Is A Leader In Approaching AI

The Singularity Institute – whose leading light is brilliant inventor and thinker Ray Kurzweil – is pushing forward a programme of “Friendly AI”. They quote PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel who says:

“I’m interested in facilitating a forum in which there can be… substantive research on how to bring about a world in which AI will be friendly to humans rather than hostile… [The Singularity Institute represents] a combination of very talented people with the right problem space [they’re] going after… [They’ve] done a phenomenal job… on a shoestring budget. From my perspective, the key question is always: What’s the amount of leverage you get as an investor? Where can a small amount make a big difference? This is a very leveraged kind of philanthropy.”

Donate To “Friendly AI” – And Double Your Effect

Thanks to benefactors, every pound you donate to the Singularity Institute for AI will be used to study and think through the important matters of how to keep AI safe and friendly.

They say: “…the Singularity Institute has been thinking about how to create safe and ethical artificial intelligence since long before the Singularity landed on the front cover of TIME magazine.”

We need to be thinking about this important matter now – and I have donated. I hope you will too – you can do so here:


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