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Humanising Machines

Humanising Machines

In our present age we have reached a critical moment; Machine learning is on the verge of transforming our lives. However, our approach to this technology is still experimental; we are only beginning to make sense of what we are doing and the need for a moral compass is of great importance at a time when humanity is more divided than ever.

Many of the ethical problems of machine learning have already arisen in analogous forms throughout history and we will consider how, for example, we have developed trust and better social relations through innovative solutions at different times. History tells us that human beings tend not to foresee problems associated with our own development but, if we learn our lessons, then we take measures during the early stage of machine learning to minimize unintended and undesirable social consequences. It is possible to build incentives into machine learning that can help to improve trust in various transactions.


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Egresso Arca Archa

Egresso Arca Archa

The cultural training set makes our primate brain able to achieve sapience. Without culture, our brains are beast-like and uninteresting. Feral children lack the spark of humanity, and yet our cultural training can make apes and dogs understand our language, and even feel strong human morality. 

What makes us human is not the hardware, it is the software training set. What we are, is an emergent property of cultural training. 


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The Usefulness of Chatbots

The Usefulness of Chatbots

There has been a lot of discussion of chatbots recently, thanks to technological advances in Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning. However, there are still a great many limitations and caveats, and interactions with bots outside of a narrow context can often be underwhelming.

Chatbots can use a repository of predefined responses, and can attempt to choose an appropriate respond based upon analysis of input and context. This pattern matching retrieval method is limited to the contents of its corpus of interactions. 


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Artifical Intuition

Artifical Intuition

ANN creativity is somewhat limited in some senses, but ridiculously powerful in others.

Despite a lot of marketing talk 'Cognitive Computing', ANNs are in many ways Artificial Intuition than intelligence per se. They are able to creatively fill in gaps and make intuitive leaps to make an appropriate response to a given situation (System 1 thinking a la Kahneman).

They are so powerful that they can in effect take over any human activity that takes no longer than one second, or a series of moments/loops like that (for driving a car, recognising faces, reading handwriting, understanding and labelling objects in a scene).


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The Supermoral Singularity

The Supermoral Singularity

We are facing a machine-driven moral singularity in the near future. Surprisingly, amoral machines are less of a problem than supermoral ones.

We have checking mechanisms in our society that aim to discover and prevent sociopathic activity. Most of it is rather primitive, but it works reasonably well after the fact. Amoral machines may have watchdogs and safeguards to monitor activity for actions that stray far from given norms.

However, the emergence of supermoral thought patterns will be very difficult to detect. Just as we can scarcely imagine how one might perceive the word with an IQ of 200, it is very challenging to predict the actions of machines with objectively better universal morals than we ourselves possess.


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