Taking back control of the Singularity

Taking back control of the Singularity

David Wood’s new book, “The Singularity Principles” is published at an opportune moment. A growing number of well-informed people are saying that the technological singularity – the arrival of superintelligent machines – now appears to be much nearer than they used to think. If it is, then the job of making sure the outcome is positive for humans becomes urgent. Wood and I discussed his book in the latest episode of The London Futurist Podcast. Rapture for Nerds The task of ensuring that superintelligence is safe for humanity is hindered by the fact that many people do not take it...
Could you – and should you – get paid to do AI safety research?

Could you – and should you – get paid to do AI safety research?

How close are we to artificial general intelligence (AGI), a machine with all the cognitive ability of an adult human? Surveys of AI researchers indicate that professionals think the most likely timeline is a decade or so either side of the middle of this century. That is not very long, but quite a few well-informed people think it could be even sooner. One such person is Ross Nordby, who explains his thinking on the latest edition of the London Futurist Podcast. The startling progress of AI Ross is a programmer with deep expertise in real-time physics for video games. A...
Superintelligence may be closer than most people think, says neuroscientist

Superintelligence may be closer than most people think, says neuroscientist

There is a paradox in artificial intelligence (AI). The technology is already very powerful, and most people agree that it will transform every industry and every aspect of our lives. But deployment of AI in industry seems to be proceeding slower than expected. One explanation for this is that CEOs and CTOs are understandably nervous about deploying systems that are unpredictable. They are even more nervous about systems which make mistakes, but unless they make mistakes they cannot learn. Fast progress in AI research Whatever the hold-ups in industry, AI is making great strides in the lab. Researchers are surprised,...
Why is it so hard to deploy AI?

Why is it so hard to deploy AI?

We all know AI will transform everything There might be a corporate executive somewhere who hasn’t yet concluded that over the next few years, artificial intelligence (AI) will transform their organisation and their industry. If there is, they are very unusual. However, despite this general acknowledgement of its importance, many companies are struggling to deploy AI. How should they do it? Daniel Hulme has some suggestions, which he explains in episode 8 of the London Futurist podcast. Daniel is the founder and CEO of Satalia, which until recently was London’s largest independent AI consultancy, helping companies solve hard problems with...
Has there been a second AI Big Bang?

Has there been a second AI Big Bang?

The first Big Bang in 2012 The Big Bang in artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the breakthrough in 2012, when a team of researchers led by Geoff Hinton managed to train an artificial neural network (known as a deep learning system) to win an image classification competition by a surprising margin. Prior to that, AI had performed some remarkable feats, but it had never made much money. Since 2012, AI has helped the big technology companies to generate enormous wealth, not least from advertising. A second Big Bang in 2017? Has there been a new Big Bang in AI, since...