Futurisms: Critiquing the project to reengineer humanity

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ben Goertzel: "What you mean 'we,' human?"

[Continuing coverage of the 2010 H+ Summit at Harvard.]

Ben Goertzel (bio, slides) delivers the last talk of the day, rehashing lots of boilerplate stuff about artificial intelligence. Towards the end of the talk, he uses the word "ethics" for what I think must be the first time in the conference. The developments he's talking about, he says, raise lots of important ethical questions, and those might be an interesting subject for another talk, but he doesn't have time to go into them today. Nobody seems to.

He talks about the notion of a "global brain" and super-AIs that far surpass our own intelligence, and how the prospect is scary but not bad. An audience member shouts out, "Unless they decide to wipe us like parasites!" Someone else senses trouble and starts saying, "Don't... don't... don't..." Goertzel bunts and says we'll still be part of them, and someone else shouts out, "What you mean 'we,' human?" (I wonder how many in the room caught the Lone Ranger reference.)

That's the close of the talks today, folks. There will be another post or two later tonight with more notes and thoughts on the conference, and then stay tuned for day two of the conference tomorrow.

Ben Goertzel, partying after the end of the first day of the conference.


Post a Comment

[Basic HTML tags can be used in this comment field. Comments are moderated for civility and relevance and will not appear until the blog's editors have approved them.]