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Artificial General Intelligence and Shameless Self-Promotion of Philosophers Like Me

February 16, 2013

One of Britain’s better newspapers, The Guardian, ran a piece about artificial general intelligence and the role that philosophers might play in its development. Here’s the first paragraph:

To state that the human brain has capabilities that are, in some respects, far superior to those of all other known objects in the cosmos would be uncontroversial. The brain is the only kind of object capable of understanding that the cosmos is even there, or why there are infinitely many prime numbers, or that apples fall because of the curvature of space-time, or that obeying its own inborn instincts can be morally wrong, or that it itself exists. Nor are its unique abilities confined to such cerebral matters. The cold, physical fact is that it is the only kind of object that can propel itself into space and back without harm, or predict and prevent a meteor strike on itself, or cool objects to a billionth of a degree above absolute zero, or detect others of its kind across galactic distances.

It’s nice to think that philosophers might not be totally useless, though I have my doubts. Anyway, there’s plenty of food for thought about AI here and perhaps the beginnings of a good term paper too.

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