The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.

Ben Goertzel, noted scientist, author, futurist and pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence, is today's featured guest. Topics he discusses include: Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), the singularity, transhumanism, human immortality and how long he expects to live, and why (like your host) he is a founding member of the Order of Cosmic Engineers.

Highlights of the interview include: The mechanism of human empathy seems to have been identified, and so can be reproduced in AI; even AI that is radically different in its thinking from human beings. Doctor Goertzel explains that this empathy is not based on emotion, and he emphasizes that he does not want to create an AI which is governed by its emotions.

He stresses that the human mind does not qualify as a completely 'General Intelligence' but lies somewhere on the spectrum between AGI on one end and 'Narrow AI' on the other. This is one of several reasons why he does not expect AGI to be achieved by mimicking the workings of the human brain.

He describes how our brains fool us into believing that we understand our actions and decisions when we don't. And why modeling an AI too closely on the human brain might make it too, vulnerable to false notions.

He also says, 'I think virtual worlds are going to be absolutely critical to the development of Artificial General Intelligence.' As well as 'Right now connecting AI's to virtual worlds is probably the best way to get an AI to have a general human-like embodied experience.'

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the August 13, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 74 minutes]

Ben Goertzel has a PhD in mathematics from Temple University, and has held several university positions in mathematics, computer science, and psychology, in the US, New Zealand and Australia. He is the Author of over 70 research papers, journalistic articles and 8 scholarly books dealing with topics in cognitive sciences and futurism. He has spent over 20 years in artificial intelligence research and commercialization. 

The former Chief Technical Officer of Webmind, a thinking machine company with 120 employees, he is today the CEO of Novamente, and is the Principle architect of the Novamente Cognition Engine. He is also the Director of Research, at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Direct download: TFAY_2008_8_13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:01am EDT