The (technological) revolution will not be televised

Last week, Randal Rauser posted a 1956 ad for long-distance phone service: [Read more…]

Tracking progress in AI is really hard

A lot of the work I’ve done for MIRI has involved trying to track progress in artificial intelligence. Not so-called “general intelligence,” but specific things ranging from playing games like chess and Scrabble to recognizing faces and objects to understanding and translating human language. And it turns out that figuring out how much progress there’s [Read More…]

Alan Turing on the possibility of machines smarter than humans

When MIRI folks talk about the idea of intelligence explosion, they often cite I. J. Good’s 1965 paper, “Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine.” But I recently discovered that Alan Turing beat Good to the punch on raising the possibility of machines becoming smarter than humans in every way: [Read more…]

Reply to a reader having a crisis of faith

A reader having a crisis of faith sent me an e-mail describing his situation; with permission I’m posting excerpts from it with my responses: [Read more…]

Hans Moravec on “transmigration” (AKA mind uploading AKA brain emulation)

I’ve found that Hans Moravec is a name that comes up a lot in discussions of transhumanism and futurism more generally. For example, he seems to be the source of the idea (used by Ray Kurzweil and many others) that Moore’s law can be extended back before the invention of the integrated circuit. [Read more…]

Food: the challenge of balancing health, ethics, and cost

For awhile now, I’ve been meaning to learn more about nutrition and health in general. In the past few days, I’ve made a start on it… but it turns out to be really hard to sort these issues out, especially if you’re (1) concerned about eating ethically (2) a starving artist like me. [Read more…]

From the archives: In Defense of Food isn’t about nutrition (a review)

I’ve been meaning to do some reading up on/blogging about scientific nutrition and scientific health and general, and it occurred to me that it might be worth starting off by reposting my review, first published in September 2009, of Michael Pollan’s book In Defense of Food. [Read more…]

Could a sufficiently accurate brain simulation really change the world?

In The Mind’s Eye, Daniel Dennett writes: [Read more…]

SMBC on intelligence explosion

The webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a new comic up on the idea of intelligence explosion. Go read it. [Read more…]