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astrodaily1

Astro-Daily @astrodaily1

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One of the 21st century conversations that I find most interesting and intellectually stimulating is that surrounding artificial intelligence (AI). The broad definition of ‘artificial intelligence’ that I find most accurate refers to AI as “any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals”. With the unprecedented technological advances that have taken place over the past few decades, the topic of AI is becoming more and more relevant and the creation of a super-intelligent machine may lie in the near future. There are dozens of equally fascinating discussions to be had regarding AI, but the one I have found most interesting is what is known as the ‘control problem’. Also known as ‘the alignment problem’, this philosophical concept addresses the importance and difficulties of making sure that a superintelligent machine has end goals that align with the intentions of its creators. From my reading, it seems that it would be terrifyingly easy to create an AI that either misinterprets or disregards our initial commands—resulting in a future that is far from one that maximizes human well-being. Essentially all the top AI researchers recognize that if a superintelligence is not created extremely carefully, it could have devastating implications for our species and planet. The reason that this problem is particularly interesting is that we must get it right the first time—there are no second chances. “Recursive self-improvement” will essentially be an AI’s ability to reprogram and improve itself—we do not know the limit to this, and it would likely be exponential improvement. A recursively self- improving AI will leave us in the dust intellectually and will likely be able to do every single thing better than the best human in a given category. If its initial goals do not align perfectly with what maximizes the well-being of Homo sapiens, we will have likely created our own destroyer. Photo credit: NASA/ESA, HST #astronomy #physics #ai #philosophy #future #technology #space #science #learn #education #computer

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