Peter Voss is an entrepreneur, inventor, engineer, scientist, and AI researcher. He is a rather interesting and unique individual not only because of his diverse background and impressive accomplishments but also because of his interest in moral philosophy and artificial intelligence. I have been planning to interview Voss for a while and, given how quickly our discussion went by, I will do my best to bring him again for an interview.
During our 1-hour-long conversation with Peter we cover a variety of topics such as: his excitement in pursuing a dream that others have failed to accomplish for the past 50 years; whether we are rational or irrational animals; utility curves and the motivation of AGI; the importance of philosophy and ethics; Bertrand Russel and Ayn Rand; his companies A2I2 and Smart Action; his [revised] optimism and timeline for building AGI; the Turing Test and the importance of asking questions; Our Final Invention and friendly AI; intelligence and morality…
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Who is Peter Voss?
Peter started his career as an entrepreneur, inventor, engineer, and scientist at age 16. After a few years in electronics engineering, at age 25 he started a company to provide turnkey business solutions based on self-developed software, running on micro-computer networks. Seven years later the company employed several hundred people and was successfully listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
After selling his interest in the company in 1993, he worked on a broad range of disciplines — cognitive science, philosophy, and theory of knowledge, psychology, intelligence and learning theory, and computer science — which served as the foundation for achieving breakthroughs in artificial general intelligence. In 2001 he started Adaptive AI Inc., with the purpose of developing systems with a high degree of general intelligence and commercializing services based on these inventions. Smart Action Company, which utilizes an AGI engine to power its call automation service, was founded in 2008.
Peter often writes and presents on various philosophical topics including rational ethics, free will and artificial minds; and is deeply involved with futurism and radical life-extension.