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Podcast: Beneficial AI and Existential Hope in 2018

For most of us, 2017 has been a roller coaster, from increased nuclear threats to incredible advancements in AI to crazy news cycles. But while it’s easy to be discouraged by various news stories, we at FLI find ourselves hopeful that we can still create a bright future. In this episode, the FLI team discusses […]

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Podcast: Life 3.0 – Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk has called it a compelling guide to the challenges and choices in our quest for a great future of life on Earth and beyond, while Stephen Hawking and Ray Kurzweil have referred to it as an introduction and guide to the most important conversation of our time. “It” is Max Tegmark’s new book, […]

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Podcast: The Art of Predicting with Anthony Aguirre and Andrew Critch

How well can we predict the future? In this podcast, Ariel speaks with Anthony Aguirre and Andrew Critch about the art of predicting the future, what constitutes a good prediction, and how we can better predict the advancement of artificial intelligence. They also touch on the difference between predicting a solar eclipse and predicting the weather, […]

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Podcast: Creative AI with Mark Riedl & Scientists Support a Nuclear Ban

If future artificial intelligence systems are to interact with us effectively, Mark Riedl believes we need to teach them “common sense.” In this podcast, I interviewed Mark to discuss how AIs can use stories and creativity to understand and exhibit culture and ethics, while also gaining “common sense reasoning.” We also discuss the “big red […]

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Podcast: Law and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

The rise of artificial intelligence presents not only technical challenges, but important legal and ethical challenges for society, especially regarding machines like autonomous weapons and self-driving cars. To discuss these issues, I interviewed Matt Scherer and Ryan Jenkins. Matt is an attorney and legal scholar whose scholarship focuses on the intersection between law and artificial […]

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Podcast: UN Nuclear Weapons Ban with Beatrice Fihn and Susi Snyder

Last October, the United Nations passed a historic resolution to begin negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. Previous nuclear treaties have included the Test Ban Treaty, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But in the 70 plus years of the United Nations, the countries have yet to agree on a treaty to completely ban nuclear […]

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Podcast: Top AI Breakthroughs, with Ian Goodfellow and Richard Mallah

2016 saw some significant AI developments. To talk about the AI progress of the last year, we turned to Richard Mallah and Ian Goodfellow. Richard is the director of AI projects at FLI, he’s the Senior Advisor to multiple AI companies, and he created the highest-rated enterprise text analytics platform. Ian is a research scientist […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Podcast: What Is Our Current Nuclear Risk?

Participants: Ariel Conn— Ariel oversees communications and digital media at FLI, and as such, she works closely with members of the nuclear community to help present information about the costs and risks of nuclear weapons. Lucas Perry—Lucas has been actively working with the Mayor and City Council of Cambridge, MA to help them divest from […]

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Podcast: Concrete Problems in AI Safety with Dario Amodei and Seth Baum

Many researchers in the field of artificial intelligence worry about potential short-term consequences of AI development. Yet far fewer want to think about the long-term risks from more advanced AI. Why? To start to answer that question, it helps to have a better understanding of what potential issues we could see with AI as it’s […]

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Podcast: Could an Earthquake Destroy Humanity?

Earthquakes as Existential Risks Earthquakes are not typically considered existential or even global catastrophic risks, and for good reason: they’re localized events. While they may be devastating to the local community, rarely do they impact the whole world. But is there some way an earthquake could become an existential or catastrophic risk? Could a single […]