(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

EF11 SHOW NOTES

Looking to play or download the episode? Click here…(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out: The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future (Season One, Episode Nine)

Can machines think, be creative or fall in love?

The big question driving Episode EF11 is … Can machines think, be creative or fall in love?  It’s obvious we’re witnessing the dawn of artificial intelligence (AI). As the generation living through and directing this big change, we have to feel both excited and nervous. What will the next step be? Will machines become a new race with their own rights to live, love and create? How might the change — potentially a quantum leap — affect humanity?

Another fact is that machines will be (or already are) more effective than humans in everything, maybe even creativity. So will humanity see this as a challenge to further evolve, or will we get overwhelmed by the unprecedented capability of a machine? Do we stand a chance when for everything humanity took centuries to perfect, AI can master in days or weeks? Can our ape-like brains even comprehend what might be around the next curve of this Next Evolution?

dedication

DEDICATION:  Episode EF11 is dedicated to Elon Musk, one of the technology leaders of the modern world. Besides Tesla and SpaceX, his third company Neuralink focuses on brain-computer interfaces which could play a huge role in the transhumanism movement. Musk’s work directly influences where the world goes next. He’s pioneering a path to a new era for humanity, into which most will go kicking and screaming. Luckily, we have Musk and not the anti-hero of Episode EF11.

Starting during the Internet boom, Musk sold his first company Zip2 for a hefty amount, enabling him to co-found x.com (which later evolved into PayPal). After selling PayPal to eBay in 2002, Musk founded SpaceX and ten years later launched Falcon 9, the first spacecraft launched into space by a private company.

It’s impossible to summarize all of Musk’s success and contributions into a short summary. He’s a unique breed of entrepreneur who not only invents the future but has the organizational skill to create and manage huge companies to bring these visions to scale. Usually, entrepreneurs possess only one of those two abilities, such as a Nikola Tesla who was a great inventor but mostly failed at personally bringing any of his inventions to scale. We are witnessing a massive turning point in humanity’s development and evolution, and Elon Musk is one of society’s key chess pieces in this transformation.

Having such an important role, unfortunately, comes at a price. Human nature, like it or not, loves to bring down anyone on top. Some of it is likely justified as you can’t change the world without ruffling feathers or pushing your teams to their limits. Nevertheless, Musk is continuously evolving us forward to carve a potentially better future not just for humanity, but the planet as a whole.

HOW ELON MUSK INSPIRES EPISODE EF11

When writing Episode EF11, I needed a genius and bold entrepreneur and Musk served as a suitable inspiration. It would be a spoiler to reveal anything deeper about his particular choice as a dedication so for that, you’ll have to listen to the episode.

Although the fictional character ended up being quite different than Musk, the heart of their shared identity is cut from the same visionary cloth. With intense vision can come unexpected blind spots and we can only hope Musk doesn’t suffer any on the scale that Cynthia from EF11 does.

Instead of reading the half-baked and speculative news about Musk that constantly sprouts up in media about him, I suggest you follow him directly and discover more from his companies’ websites and talks he’s given:

inspirations

INSPIRATIONS: Max Tegmark, a physicist currently researching the potential danger of AI to ensure the World doesn’t go Skynet. Ben Goertzel, a veteran in AI research and development with a more positive outlook on the AI future than most of his peers. Philippa Foot, a philosopher who modernized the Trolley problem and whom the innocent AI (or human) might have to kill. Alex Garland, whose debut movie, Ex Machina, introduced the AI problem to the 21st century mainstream. Episode EF11 was further inspired by Sam Harris, Woody Allen, Siegrid Löwel, Nick Bostrom, Peter Thiel, Albert Einstein, Clement Hamani, Donald O. Hebb, Rene Descartes, J.K. Rowling, Incandescent light bulb. For a full list of data and references please see Episode EF11 Show Notes.

Episode EF11 Summary

Aldford Herbert, a famous science fiction writer, is on the brink of finishing his latest novel about a realistic, dark future of artificial intelligence. A stroke of luck provides him with an opportunity to talk to Cynthia Butler, the mastermind behind the world’s most bleeding edge AI company. Aldford sees this as the perfect opportunity to secretly learn how precise his fictional predictions might be. What he doesn’t know is that Cynthia might just have a mysterious, and even more insidious agenda than his own.

This episode of the Evolve Faster Podcast will investigate AI development from perspectives of deep learning to related neuroscience and several key technological advances in between. Technology and AI is rapidly evolving at a rate much faster than humanity ever did or could hope for. It’s not about if AI will achieve consciousness, but when will we be at least fooled into thinking it has? But does the rapid development automatically mean the end of humankind as we know it? Or is there an alternative route where co-existence is a brighter version of life as it is today?

references

Albert Einstein, William Hermanns, Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man, 1983, Branden Books

Clement Hamani, Neuromodulation in Psychiatry. 2016, Wiley-Blackwell

Michael Copeland, What’s the Difference Between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning?. blogs.nvidia.com,  blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2016/07/29/whats-difference-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning-deep-learning-ai/, (accessed: January 23, 2017)

Sian Bradley, All the creepy, crazy and amazing things that happened in AI in 2017, wired.co.uk, http://www.wired.co.uk/article/what-happened-in-ai-in-2017, (accessed: April 17, 2018)

T.C. Sottek, The world’s best Dota 2 players just got destroyed by a killer AI from Elon Musk’s startup. The Verge, www.theverge.com. https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/11/16137388/dota-2-dendi-open-ai-elon-musk (accessed on: October 10th, 2017)

episode quotes

Any of these quotes make you think? If so, please support the show by sharing…

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

Kill the Christian, Muslim, or the Jewish driver? Which decision will the unlucky AI-driven car make? And the poor computer doesn’t even know how much its situation is like a Woody Allen joke. — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Nine)

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

Humans have all the potential to think creatively; that’s how we evolved. So why in this day and age an average human is having trouble with being creative? — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Nine)

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

Will humans, these old incandescent light bulbs, at one point get outshined by AI’s superior blue light? — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Nine) (EF11)

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

AI’s ability to learn rapidly and continually comes from having no chance of being a sore loser. — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Nine)

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

Humans often reach their creative peak only when stuck in a dangerous situation — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Nine) 

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

Most feel that creativity is something reserved for a few special god-like people when in reality, creativity is nothing more than a persistent learning process. — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Nine)

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

Humans have such potential to become something. Not gods, but something as equally great–their highest selves…something that goes beyond everything that currently exists. — The Evolve Faster Podcast (Season One, Episode Nine) (EF11)

(EF11) S1-E9: When the Lights Go Out The Blinding Light of an Artificial Future The Evolve Faster Podcast with Scott Ely Season One

Season One, Episode Nine: AI may soon make humans seem as inferior as a regular light bulb is to the sun. Will this progress end with AI stripped of human emotional baggage? Or might AI help evolve creativity and emotions even further to shine an even brighter light into the human experience?

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