Robotic Zeitgeist

Robotics and AI are in the air. A sampling:

“Bot with boyish personality wins biggest Turing test”: “Eugene Goostman, a chatbot with the personality of a 13-year-old boy, won the biggest Turing test ever staged, on 23 June, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing.”

“Time To Apply The First Law Of Robotics To Our Smartphones”: “We imagined that robots would be designed so that they could never hurt a human being. These robots have no such commitments. These robots hurt us every day.”

“Robot Hand Beats You at Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% Of The Time”: “This robot hand will play a game of rock, paper, scissors with you. Sounds like fun, right? Not so much, because this particular robot wins every. Single. Time.”

Next, two on the same story coming out of Google’s research division:

“I See Cats”: “Google researchers connected 16,000 computer cores together into a huge neural net (like the network of neurons in your brain) and then used a software program to ask what it (the neural net) “saw” in a pool of 1 million pictures downloaded randomly from the internet.”

“The Triumph of Artificial Intelligence! 16,000 Processors Can Identify a Cat in a YouTube Video Sometimes”: “Perhaps this is not precisely what Turing had in mind.”

Much of this talk about AI has coincided with what would have been Turing’s 100th birthday. Most of it has celebrated the brilliant mathematician and lamented the tragic nature of his life and death. This next piece, however, takes a critical look at the course of AI (or better, the ideology of AI) since Turing:

“The Trouble with the Turing Test”: “But these are not our only alternatives; there is a third way, the way of agnosticism, which means accepting the fact that we have not yet achieved artificial intelligence, and have no idea if we ever will.”

And on a slightly different, post-humanist note (via Evan Selinger):

The International Journal of Machine Consciousness has devoted an entire issue to “Mind Uploading.”

There you go; enough to keep you thinking today.

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