London Futurists Hangout On Air: Terminator or Transcendence?

Last Sunday I participated in a fun panel discussion organized by David Wood from the London Futurists. The topic was “Terminator or Transcendence?” and we kicked off the conversation by critiquing the film Transcendence. Then we moved on to other topics such as the timeline to achieving AI in general and ASI in particular, the Turing Test and our hopes and fears for the future. You can see the full 90min recording below:


Synopsis: Hollywood has provided some vivid images of what might happen when AI gains superhuman powers. This includes the various disasters depicted in Terminator and Transcendence. These films are science fiction, but appear to have some of their plot lines rooted in potential near-future real-world developments. Should we be worried about real-world near-equivalents of Dr Will Caster? If so, what sort of evasive action should we be taking?

This London Futurists Hangout On Air assembles an international panel of analysts who have thought long and hard about the potential of superhuman AI: Calum Chace, Stuart Armstong and Nikola Danaylov.

The panellists will be debating a number of far-reaching questions raised by recent Hollywood AI extravaganzas:
• Which elements of Transcendence are the least credible? Which elements are the most credible?
• How soon will we see the first human-level AI? Haven’t computer scientists been wrong about their predictions of timing many times before? Why should we take their latest predictions any more seriously than previous ones?
• Aren’t human minds just too complex and mysterious to be replicated?
• If human society can’t even take effective action to address climate change, what chance do we have to take effective action against malignant AI development?
• If we had Hollywood-level budgets at our disposal, what kind of film about AI would we most like to make?

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