Saturday, June 15, 2013

Joel Stein on the Economics and Potential of AI

This article is likely behind a paywall, but it's a nice summary by my favorite humor columnist Joel Stein on the economics and potential of artificial intelligence.

A nice discussion on the limits and potential for artificial intelligence that conforms nicely to my view of things. The question of consciousness if a tricky one and even confounds very smart friends of mine (with PhDs in AI even) who want to believe there is something inherently special about human brains relative to a computer when really there isn't. It also takes a fairly reasonable view of a future AI economy, where basic economics suggests that AI is simply another type of capital K, that should on the whole enhance the value of labor (wages), and allow us to specialize in other pursuits like art and human services. I like the line about how art requires the possibility of loss and death (like in Brave New World or Bicentennial Man) and therefore while AIs would in theory be able to produce it, why would you bother programming loss death into an AI.

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