Reducing the Threat of Nuclear War
Until recently, many Americans believed that nuclear weapons don’t represent the same threat as during the Cold War. However, recent events and aggressive posturing between nuclear nations —especially the U.S., Russia, and North Korea—has increased public awareness and concern. These fears were addressed at a recent MIT conference on nuclear weapons.
“The possibility of a nuclear bomb going off is greater today than 20 years ago,” said Ernest Moniz, former Secretary of Energy and a keynote speaker.
California Congresswoman Barbara Lee, another keynote speaker, recently returned from a trip to South Korea and Japan. Of the trip, she said, “We went to the DMZ, and I saw how close to nuclear war we really are.”
“We must prevent the president from launching nuclear weapons without a declaration from Congress,” Lee said.
Learn more about the event and why nuclear weapons are thought to be a bigger risk today than ever before.
This is a special two-part podcast. First, Mark and Ariel discuss how AIs can use stories and creativity to understand and exhibit culture and ethics, while also gaining “common sense reasoning.” They also discuss the “big red button” problem in AI safety research, the process of teaching “rationalization” to AIs, and computational creativity. Mark is an associate professor at the Georgia Tech School of interactive computing, where his recent work has focused on human-AI interaction and how humans and AI systems can understand each other.
Then, we hear from scientists, politicians and concerned citizens about why they support the upcoming UN negotiations to ban nuclear weapons. Ariel interviewed a broad range of people over the past two months, and highlights are compiled here, including comments by Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Nobel Laureate Martin Chalfie, and FLI president Max Tegmark.
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What we’ve been up to this month
Ariel Conn, Lucas Perry, Meia Chita-Tegmark, and Max Tegmark helped organize and participated in MIT’s conference “Reducing the Threat of Nuclear Weapons” this month. The conference was sponsored by MIT Radius (the former Technology and Culture Forum), Massachusetts Peace Action, the American Friends Service Committee, and FLI.
Viktoriya Krakovna attended the 5th International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) at the end of April. The workshop included keynote speakers and panelists discussing the topics of representation learning and reinforcement learning.
Ariel Conn attended GP-write this month, which brought together journalists and lead researchers in genomics. In general, the energy at the conference was one of excitement about the possibilities that GP-write could unleash.