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My Self-Created Artificial Intelligence Masters Degree

The most valuable lesson I learned from five years as an undergraduate was if you’re truly interested in what you’re learning, studying is no longer a chore.

If you had told me this piece of wisdom before starting university, I would’ve listened and understood but not put it into action.

Rather than stand by and watch this paradigm shift happen without fully understanding it, at the start of 2017, I decided to start learning about it.

I dived straight in the deep end (literally) and signed up for a Deep Learning course without ever writing a single line of Python code.

If you have any advice for me, including courses I should look at or skills I should work on, please feel free to let me know in the comments, my email or Twitter.

How to Build a Self-Conscious Machine

We might even attempt further precision and think of the brain as a desktop computer, with a central processing unit that’s separate from RAM (short-term memory), the hard drives (long-term memory), cooling fans (autonomous nervous functions), power supplies (digestion), and so on.

Some functions of the brain were built hundreds of millions of years ago, like the ones that provide power to individual cells or pump sodium-potassium through cell membranes.

The other modules are prone to arguing, bickering, disagreeing, subverting one another, spasming uncontrollably, staging coups, freaking the fuck out, and all sorts of other hysterics.

When the visual cues of motion from our environment do not match the signals from our inner ears (where we sense balance), our brains assume that we’ve been poisoned.

The result is that we empty our stomachs (getting rid of the poison) and we lie down and feel zero desire to move about (preventing us from plummeting to our deaths from whatever high limb we might be swinging from).

Lying still and sleeping a lot while seasick, I will then jump up and perform various tasks needed of me around the boat—the seasickness practically gone for the moment—only to lie back down once the chore is done.

These modules direct many of our waking hours as we navigate dating scenes, tend to our current relationships, determine what to wear and how to maintain our bodies, and so much more.

However, if those devices are not employed, even though higher-level modules most definitely did not want anyone getting pregnant that night, a lovechild might be born, and other modules will then kick in and flood brains with love and deep connections to assist in the rearing of that child. Some

Critical to keep in mind here is that these modules are highly variable across the population, and our unique mix of modules create the personalities that we associate with our singular selves.

The perfectly engineered desktop computer analogy fails spectacularly, and the failure of this analogy leads to some terrible legislation and social mores, as we can’t seem to tolerate designs different from our own (or the average).

What are the dangers of artificial intelligence in our brave new world of self-driving cars?

Like paper, print, steel and the wheel, computer-generated artificial intelligence is a revolutionary technology that can bend how we work, play and love.

development, there is a fledgling branch of academic ethical study—influenced by Catholic social teaching and encompassing thinkers like the Jesuit scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin—that aims to study its moral consequences, contain the harm it might do and push tech firms to integrate social goods like privacy and fairness into their business plans.

describes the kind of powerful artificial intelligence that not only simulates human reasoning but surpasses it by combining computational might with human qualities like learning from mistakes, self-doubt and curiosity about mysteries within and without.

“There are enough ethical concerns in the short term.” While we ponder A.G.I., artificial narrow intelligence is already here: Google Maps suggesting the road less traveled, voice-activated programs like Siri answering trivia questions, Cambridge Analytica crunching private data to help swing an election, and military drones choosing how to kill people on the ground.

Even without the singular, and unlikely, appearance of robot overlords, the possible outcomes of artificial narrow intelligence gone awry include plenty of apocalyptic scenarios, akin to the plots of the TV series “Black Mirror.” A temperature control system, for example, could kill all humans because that would be a rational way to cool down the planet, or a network of energy-efficient computers could take over nuclear plants so it will have enough power to operate on its own.

should be socially beneficial, avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias, be built and tested for safety, be accountable to people, incorporate privacy design principles, uphold high standards of scientific excellence, and be made available to uses that accord with these principles.

“If China allows, legally, Google to use AI in a way that violates human rights, Google will go for it.” (At press time, Google had not responded to multiple requests for comment on this criticism.) The biggest headache for A.I.

“You get so many other things out of work, like community, character development, intellectual stimulation and dignity.” When his dad retired from his job running a noodle factory in South Korea, “he got money, but he lost community and self-respect,” says Mr. Kim.

The future isn’t lawyer versus robot, it’s lawyer plus robot versus lawyer plus robot.” The most common jobs for American men are behind the wheel.

We are still at least a decade away from the day when self-driving cars occupy major stretches of our highways, but the automobile is so important in modern life that any change in how it works would greatly transform society.

Technology experts say that the trolley problem is still theoretical because machines presently have a hard time making distinctions between people and things like plastic bags and shopping carts, leading to unpredictable scenarios.

Is it morally correct to tell an autonomous car to drive the speed limit when everybody else is driving 20 miles an hour over?” “But there are many ethical or moral situations that are likely to happen, and they’re the ones that matter,” says Mike Ramsey, an automotive analyst for Gartner Research.

“Is it morally correct to tell the computer to drive the speed limit when everybody else is driving 20 miles an hour over?” Humans break rules in reasonable ways all the time.

will amplify that pattern.” Loan, mortgage or insurance applications could be denied at higher rates for marginalized social groups if, for example, the algorithm looks at whether there is a history of homeownership in the family.

In one dystopian scenario, a government could deny health care or other public benefits to people deemed to engage in “bad” behavior, based on the data recorded by social media companies and gadgets like Fitbit.

Already, some people say they are in “relationships” with robots, creating strange new ethical questions.  One study found that autistic children trying to learn language and basic social interaction responded more favorably to an A.I.

“The hazard involves these robots’ potential to present the appearance of friendship to a population” who cannot tell the difference between real and fake friends, she writes in the essay collection Robot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence.

Makers of new lines of artificial intelligence dolls costing over $10,000 each claim, as one ad says, to “deliver the most enjoyable conversation and interaction you can have with a machine.” Already, some people say they are in “relationships” with robots, creating strange new ethical questions.

One example of how narrow intelligence can appear to turn into a more general form came when a computer program beat Lee Sedol, a human champion of the strategic game Go, in 2016.

“But now you have machines that are autonomous, too, so what is it that makes us special as humans?” One Catholic thinker who thought deeply about the impact of artificial intelligence is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit and scientist who helped to found a school of thought called transhumanism, which views all technology as an extension of the human self.

He contended, for example, that “not all ethnic groups have the same value.” But his purely philosophical arguments about technology have regained currency among Catholic thinkers this century, and reading Teilhard can be a wild ride.

But centralized and corporate control, he said, has “ended up producing—with no deliberate action of the people who designed the platform—a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.” He and others now say the accumulation and selling of personal data dehumanizes and commodifies people, instead of enhancing their humanity.

Juan Ortiz Freuler, a policy fellow at the Washington-based World Wide Web Foundation, which Mr. Berners-Lee started to protect human rights, says he hears people in the tech industry “argue that a system so complex we can’t understand it is like a god.” But it is not a god, says Mr. Freuler.

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