Technological unemployment

At an event to mark the launch of the FastFuture book, The Future of Business, I gave a short (8-minute) talk on the possibility that automation will create an economic singularity and lead to widespread technological unemployment. If that happens, will we be able to devise an economic system that can cope with some form of Universal Basic Income, and will we be able to get from here to there without social breakdown? Afterwards, Martin Dinov, Computational and Experimental Neuroscience PhD Researcher at Imperial College, gave a commendably clear talk on artificial neural networks. The video is here.  (The sound quality is not...

Future Trends Forum

Last week I was in Madrid, taking part in the 24th meeting of the Future Trends Forum, a think tank set up by BankInter, a leading Spanish bank. The subject was the Second Machine Age - organising for prosperity, and this short video was shot during the meeting: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=12&v=-U5UIFgzAXM[/embed] The jumping-off point for the meeting was the eponymous book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, so a lot of the discussion revolved around automation and the possibility of widespread technological unemployment. The organisers brought together a fantastic group of smart, experienced people who worked together in a very open and collaborative way during the three...

New book: "Surviving AI". Review copies available

I've just finished writing a non-fiction book on artificial intelligence, called Surviving AI. It starts with a brief history of the science and a description of its current state.  It goes on to look at the benefits and risks that AI presents in the short and medium term, with a short story highlighting the improvements to everyday life that are in the pipeline, and discussions of technological unemployment and killer robots. Then it gets into artificial general intelligence - machines with human-level cognition: whether we can create one, and if so when; whether we will like it if we do, and what we should do about...