Entries by Ariel Conn

Why 2016 Was Actually a Year of Hope

Just about everyone found something to dislike about 2016, from wars to politics and celebrity deaths. But hidden within this year’s news feeds were some really exciting news stories. And some of them can even give us hope for the future. Though concerns about the future of AI still loom, 2016 was a great reminder […]

Westworld Op-Ed: Are Conscious AI Dangerous?

“These violent delights have violent ends.” With the help of Shakespeare and Michael Crichton, HBO’s Westworld has brought to light some of the concerns about creating advanced artificial intelligence. If you haven’t seen it already, Westworld is a show in which human-like AI populate a park designed to look like America’s Wild West. Visitors spend […]

Transcript: Autonomous Weapons: an Interview With the Experts

ARIEL I’m Ariel Conn with the Future of Life Institute. Today, I have the privilege of talking with Drs Heather Roff and Peter Asaro, two experts in the field of autonomous weapons. Dr. Roff is a research scientist at The Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University and a senior research fellow at the University […]

Autonomous Weapons: an Interview With the Experts

FLI’s Ariel Conn recently spoke with Heather Roff and Peter Asaro about autonomous weapons. Roff, a research scientist at The Global Security Initiative at Arizona State University and a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford, recently compiled an international database of weapons systems that exhibit some level of autonomous capabilities. Asaro is a […]

The Problem of Defining Autonomous Weapons

What, exactly, is an autonomous weapon? For the general public, the phrase is often used synonymously with killer robots and triggers images of the Terminator. But for the military, the definition of an autonomous weapons system, or AWS, is deceivingly simple. The United States Department of Defense defines an AWS as “a weapon system that, […]

Insight From the Dalai Lama Applied to AI Ethics

One of the primary objectives — if not the primary objective — of artificial intelligence is to improve life for all people. But an equally powerful motivator to create AI is to improve profits. These two goals can occasionally be at odds with each other. Currently, with AI becoming smarter and automation becoming more efficient, […]

Nuclear Winter with Alan Robock and Brian Toon

The UN voted last week to begin negotiations on a global nuclear weapons ban, but for now, nuclear weapons still jeopardize the existence of almost all people on earth. I recently sat down with Meteorologist Alan Robock from Rutgers University and physicist Brian Toon from the University of Colorado to discuss what is potentially the […]

Transcript: Nuclear Winter Podcast with Alan Robock and Brian Toon

TRANSCRIPT: Ariel: I’m Ariel Conn with the Future of Life Institute. I’m here with meteorologist Dr. Alan Robock and physicist Dr. Brian Toon, who have both become influential climate scientists and researchers in the field of nuclear winter. The basic idea behind nuclear winter is that a nuclear war would burn cities and industrial areas […]

The Ethical Questions Behind Artificial Intelligence

What do philosophers and ethicists worry about when they consider the long-term future of artificial intelligence? Well, to start, though most people involved in the field of artificial intelligence are excited about its development, many worry that without proper planning an advanced AI could destroy all of humanity. And no, this does not mean they’re […]

Obama’s Nuclear Legacy

The following article and infographic were originally posted on Futurism. The most destructive device that humanity ever created is the nuclear bomb. It’s a technology that is capable of unparalleled devastation; it’s a technology that The United Nations classifies as “the most dangerous weapon on Earth.” One bomb can destroy a whole city in seconds, and in so doing, end the […]

The Biggest Companies in AI Partner to Keep AI Safe

Industry leaders in the world of artificial intelligence just announced the Partnership on AI.  This exciting new partnership was “established to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and […]

The Age of Em: Review and Podcast

Interview with Robin Hanson A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to interview Robin Hanson about his new book, The Age of Em. We discussed his book, the future and evolution of humanity, and the research he’s doing for his next book. You can listen to all of that here. And read on […]