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Concern Over Robot Threat Hits NYT

By Matthew Yglesias on July 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm

"Concern Over Robot Threat Hits NYT"

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Readers keep sending me the link to this New York Times article about researchers’ growing concerns about artificial intelligence. For example:

“My sense was that sooner or later we would have to make some sort of statement or assessment, given the rising voice of the technorati and people very concerned about the rise of intelligent machines,” Dr. Horvitz said.

The A.A.A.I. report will try to assess the possibility of “the loss of human control of computer-based intelligences.” It will also grapple, Dr. Horvitz said, with socioeconomic, legal and ethical issues, as well as probable changes in human-computer relationships. How would it be, for example, to relate to a machine that is as intelligent as your spouse?

Interestingly, however, the specific risk that robots will rebel and enslave us doesn’t seem to be under consideration. On a loosely related sci-fi note, Roland Emmerich directing a Foundation movie doesn’t seem like an even remotely good idea.

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