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Brave New Future? An Integral Look at Super Artificial Intelligence
August 21, 2013 16:25

Brave New Future? An Integral Look at Super Artificial Intelligence
Michael Zimmerman

These days, discourse about intelligent robots—thinking machines—is as widespread as discourse about zombies. Both have been the subjects of recent bestsellers, which are the basis of two forthcoming films. Popular culture’s depiction of humankind under attack by either the undead or by the never alive (autonomous machines) suggests widespread anxiety about and fascination with technical developments that may generate a future out of human control (as if the future ever were under our control!). Two centuries ago Mary Shelley wrote the mother of all sci-fi novels, Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus (1818). In it, she anticipated today’s efforts to use scientific knowledge for the purpose of artificially creating intelligent beings. Victor Frankenstein never sought anyone’s permission to conduct his astonishing experiment, which went so badly wrong.

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