AI, Robots, Life on Mars, and other World Changers

Posted 3 Jan 2009 at 18:48 UTC by steve Share This

Each year Edge asks one question of the world's smartest people. This year's question is, "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?" John Tooby and Leda Cosmides predict that a general artificially intelligent machine will remain elusive in their lifetime but understanding why will unlock revolutions in science. Irene Pepperberg expects the opposite, that we will build intelligent machines once we discover the secrets of human brain. Kevin Kelly believes he'll live to see true AI but probably not a super-human intelligence. Nick Bostrom will live to see super-human intelligence. He thinks machine intelligence most likely but points out we might also find ways of enhancing our biological brains. Daniel C. Dennett suggests that when a species starts asking this sort of question, "the snowball has started to roll, and there is probably no stopping it." Rodney Brooks believes he'll live to see a definitive answer on whether or not there is life on Mars. Sherry Turkle believes she'll live to see the development of social robots that people will want to spend time with. Austin Dacey predicts the dawn of carniculture, the growing of meat without the need to take it from living animals. Thomas Metzinger expects to see humanoid robots provide soul-travel for selfless beings. A more pessimistic option comes from Carlo Rovelli who expects to live to see, well, not much at all that brings big changes to the world. There are hundreds of responses from as many clever people, so check out the full article and see which ones you agree or disagree with.

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