Art, creativity, and artificial intelligence

“Art goes beyond creativity, and you have to be conscious to produce it.” That could be a handy slogan for the forthcoming race against the machines – and it might also be true. Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. Imagination is the faculty of having original ideas, and there seems to be no reason why that requires a conscious mind to be at work. Creativity can simply be the act of combining two existing ideas (perhaps from different domains of expertise) in a novel way. The eminent 19th-century chemist August Kekule solved the riddle...
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Artificial novelists

I just finished reading "The Girl in the Spider's Web", the fourth book in the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson, which was made into a great trilogy of films in its native Sweden, and (IMHO) a less good film by Hollywood.  Famously, this fourth book was not written by Larsson, who made the ill-advised career move of dying before his books became huge best-sellers. But (IMHO again) it's damn good. For me at least, the cast of characters live on. (There is an AGI sub-plot which I think is a bit daft, but it barely distracts.) The shift in author...
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Book launch event for "Surviving AI"

Google kindly offered the use of the conference room at their London Campus for the official launch of "Surviving AI" on 15th September. David Wood, chair of the London Futurist Group did most of the organisation with his usual efficiency and aplomb, and Kenn Cukier of The Economist did a terrific job of compering. There was a great turnout and a lively discussion after the talk.  You can watch the video here, and you can join the discussion here.
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Interview on Talk Radio Europe

Here's a link to a 14-minute interview with Bill Padley of Talk Radio Europe, a station for English-speakers in Spain.  A tiny bit of research enabled me to illustrate the power of the AI we already have, much to Bill's delight. [embed][/embed]
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Review the Future – podcast interview

A couple of days ago I Skyped with Jon Perry, co-founder and co-host of the excellent Review the Future podcast. (I came across this podcast recently when they interviewed Nikola Danaylov of Singularity 1 on 1, and I've listened to some of their back catalogue, which I highly recommend.) Jon and I cantered over much of the subject area covered by “Surviving AI”, and then he edited it so that I didn't sound like a complete fool. (Thanks Jon!) And now it's online and available for your consideration.

"Surviving AI" is now available at Amazon!

"Surviving AI", a non-fiction review of the promise and peril of artificial intelligence is now on sale at Amazon.  It's available in both ebook and paperback formats, and my favourite voice artist, Joe Hempel, is making great strides with the audio version.  (Here are Amazon's UK and US sites.) Artificial intelligence is our most powerful technology, and in the coming decades it will change everything in our lives. If we get it right it will make humans almost godlike. If we get it wrong... well, extinction is not the worst possible outcome. “Surviving AI” is a concise, easy-to-read guide to what's coming, taking you...