Discussion of the Economic Singularity, Fondacion BankInter, Madrid

Fondaction BankInter is a leading global think tank based in Madrid.  In 2015 it investigated the idea that machine intelligence may lead to technological unemployment.  A workshop in June lead to a report which was published in November, and the Fondacion asked me and Juan Francisco Blanes, a roboticist, to give talks at the launch. With splendid irony, my computer crashed during the presentation, so fans of schadenfreude will particularly enjoy the section at 14 minutes 04 seconds.  Fortunately, the Fondacion staff came to the rescue with great efficiency and aplomb, and the talk re-starts at 18 minutes 57 seconds.

BBC History

Seven vignettes from the history of artificial intelligence, for the BBC's history magazine.


The excellent FiveBooks site interviewed me recently, and asked me to recommend five books to read about artificial intelligence. I think this is the century of two singularities, so I chose two books about the Technological Singularity (one each by Kurzweil and Bostrom) and two about what I call the Economic Singularity, the consequences of technological unemployment (one by Martin Ford and the other by McAfee and Brynjolfsson). The interview (here), by Sophie Roell, is quite long, but a jolly good read (in my wholly un-biased opinion). My fifth book choice is Permutation City by my favourite science fiction writer,...

Homo sapiens may split in two: a handful of gods, and the rest of us

Charles Arthur, a journalist who writes for The Guardian and other outlets, wrote this intriguing article about the possibility of technological unemployment, and its potential impact on society: If you wanted relief from stories about tyre factories and steel plants closing, you could try relaxing with a new 300-page report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch which looks at the likely effects of a robot revolution. But you might not end up reassured. Though it promises robot carers for an ageing population, it also forecasts huge numbers of jobs being wiped out: up to 35% of all workers in the UK and 47% of those in the US,...