Entries by Tucker Davey

15,000 Scientists Sign “Second Notice” Warning About Climate Change

In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences penned the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.” Pointing to growing problems like ocean dead zones, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth, the scientists argued that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the […]

Transcript: AI Ethics, a Trolley Problem, and a Twitter Ghost Story with Joshua Greene and Iyad Rahwan

[beginning of recorded material] Ariel: I’m Ariel Conn with the Future of Life Institute. As most of our listeners will know, we are especially concerned with ensuring AI is developed safely and beneficially. But as technically challenging as that may be, it also raises some thorny questions regarding ethics and morality, which are just as […]

55 Years After Preventing Nuclear Attack, Arkhipov Honored With Inaugural Future of Life Award

London, UK – On October 27, 1962, a soft-spoken naval officer named Vasili Arkhipov single-handedly prevented nuclear war during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Arkhipov’s submarine captain, thinking their sub was under attack by American forces, wanted to launch a nuclear weapon at the ships above. Arkhipov, with the power of veto, said […]

Explainable AI: a discussion with Dan Weld

Machine learning systems are confusing – just ask any AI researcher. Their deep neural networks operate incredibly quickly, considering thousands of possibilities in seconds before making decisions. The human brain simply can’t keep up. When people learn to play Go, instructors can challenge their decisions and hear their explanations. Through this interaction, teachers determine the […]

How to Design AIs That Understand What Humans Want: An Interview with Long Ouyang

As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, programmers will expect to talk to computers like they talk to humans. Instead of typing out long, complex code, we’ll communicate with AI systems using natural language. With a current model called “program synthesis,” humans can get computers to write code for them by giving them examples and demonstrations […]

Towards a Code of Ethics in Artificial Intelligence with Paula Boddington

AI promises a smarter world – a world where finance algorithms analyze data better than humans, self-driving cars save millions of lives from accidents, and medical robots eradicate disease. But machines aren’t perfect. Whether an automated trading agent buys the wrong stock, a self-driving car hits a pedestrian, or a medical robot misses a cancerous […]

Using History to Chart the Future of AI: An Interview with Katja Grace

The million-dollar question in AI circles is: When? When will artificial intelligence become so smart and capable that it surpasses human beings at every task? AI is already visible in the world through job automation, algorithmic financial trading, self-driving cars and household assistants like Alexa, but these developments are trivial compared to the idea of […]

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work: An Interview With Moshe Vardi

“The future of work is now,” says Moshe Vardi. “The impact of technology on labor has become clearer and clearer by the day.” Machines have already automated millions of routine, working-class jobs in manufacturing. And now, AI is learning to automate non-routine jobs in transportation and logistics, legal writing, financial services, administrative support, and healthcare. […]

Transcript: Law and Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

[beginning of recorded material] Ariel: I’m Ariel Conn with the Future of Life Institute. Today I’m joined by Matt Scherer and Ryan Jenkins to discuss some of the legal and ethical issues facing AI, especially regarding things like autonomous weapons and self-driving cars. Matt is an attorney and legal scholar based in Portland, Oregon, who’ […]

How Self-Driving Cars Use Probability

Even though human drivers don’t consciously think in terms of probabilities, we observe our environment and make decisions based on the likelihood of certain things happening. A driver doesn’t calculate the probability that the sports car behind her will pass her, but through observing the car’s behavior and considering similar situations in the past, she […]

The Financial World of AI

Automated algorithms currently manage over half of trading volume in US equities, and as AI improves, it will continue to assume control over important financial decisions. But these systems aren’t foolproof. A small glitch could send shares plunging, potentially costing investors billions of dollars. For firms, the decision to accept this risk is simple. The […]

Silo Busting in AI Research

Artificial intelligence may seem like a computer science project, but if it’s going to successfully integrate with society, then social scientists must be more involved. Developing an intelligent machine is not merely a problem of modifying algorithms in a lab. These machines must be aligned with human values, and this requires a deep understanding of […]

Who is Responsible for Autonomous Weapons?

Consider the following wartime scenario: Hoping to spare the lives of soldiers, a country deploys an autonomous weapon to wipe out an enemy force. This robot has demonstrated military capabilities that far exceed even the best soldiers, but when it hits the ground, it gets confused. It can’t distinguish the civilians from the enemy soldiers […]

Cybersecurity and Machine Learning

When it comes to cybersecurity, no nation can afford to slack off. If a nation’s defense systems cannot anticipate how an attacker will try to fool them, then an especially clever attack could expose military secrets or use disguised malware to cause major networks to crash. A nation’s defense systems must keep up with the […]