Balancing our intelligence investment portfolio

It is no secret that AI is currently a hot subject - in politics, law and, of course, in investing. The idea here is right: this new technology may well revolutionize business after business and not paying attention to it would be folly. But there is an interesting question sitting at the edges of the… Continue reading Balancing our intelligence investment portfolio

Exploring the Stagnation Hypothesis

The stagnation hypothesis, the idea that we have seen steady decline across science and technology over the last 50 years or so is increasingly gaining ground and becoming mainstream: Thiel, along with economists such as Tyler Cowen (The Great Stagnation) and Robert Gordon (The Rise and Fall of American Growth), promotes a “stagnation hypothesis”: that… Continue reading Exploring the Stagnation Hypothesis

Gossiping about AI (Man / Machine XII)

There are plenty of studies of gossip as a social phenomenon, and there are computer science models of gossiping that allow for information distribution in system. There are even gossip learning systems that compete with or constitute alternatives to federated learning models. But here is a question I have not found any serious discussion about… Continue reading Gossiping about AI (Man / Machine XII)

Digital legal persons? Fragments (Man / Machine XI and Identity / Privacy III)

The following are notes ahead of a panel discussion this afternoon, where we will discuss the need for a legal structure for digital persons in the wake of the general discussion of artificial intelligence.  The idea of a digital assistant seems to suggest a world in which we will see new legal actors. These actors will buy,… Continue reading Digital legal persons? Fragments (Man / Machine XI and Identity / Privacy III)

The free will to make slightly worse choices ( Man / Machine XI)

In his chapter on intelectronics, his word for what most closely resembles artificial intelligence, Stanislaw Lem suggests an insidious way in which the machine could take over. It would not be, he says, because it wants to terrorize us, but more likely because it will try to be helpful. Lem develops the idea of the… Continue reading The free will to make slightly worse choices ( Man / Machine XI)

Stanislaw Lem, Herbert Simon and artificial intelligence as broad social technology project (Man / Machine X)

Why do we develop artificial intelligence? Is it merely because of an almost faustian curiosity? Is it because of an innate megalomania that suggests that we could, if we want to, become gods? The debate today is ripe with examples of risks and dangers, but the argument for the development of this technology is curiously… Continue reading Stanislaw Lem, Herbert Simon and artificial intelligence as broad social technology project (Man / Machine X)

On not knowing (Man / Machine III)

Humans are not great at answering questions with “I don’t know”. They often seek to provide answers even where they know that they do not know. Yet still, one of the hallmarks of careful thinking is to acknowledge when we do not know something - and when we cannot say anything meaningful about an issue.… Continue reading On not knowing (Man / Machine III)