Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers Strategies

What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroyus? If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligencecould become extremely powerful—possibly beyond our control.


Author and Oxford Professor Dr. Nick Bostromwill talk about his latest book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, on Monday, September 8, and will share his insights with the ChicagoCouncil on Science and Technology.

He believes that humans will eventually create an artificial intelligence that will surpass our own intelligence–a machine “superintelligence.” With a background in physics, computational neuroscience, mathematical logic, and philosophy, Dr. Bostrom is uniquely qualified to consider the likelihood and potential ramifications of such an advancement.

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities thatour species owes its dominant position. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence. But we have one advantage: we get to make thefirst move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?

In Superintelligence–Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Bostrom breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Bostrom’s work nothing less thana reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.

Nick Bostrom is Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and founding Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and of the Program on the Impacts of Future Technology within the Oxford Martin School. He has authored some200 publications, haspreviously taught at Yale, and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the British Academy.

Copies of Bostrom’s book,Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategieswill be available for purchaseand signing at the event for $20. After his engagement withC2ST, Bostrom is scheduled tospeak at the Microsoft Research Lab, Google Headquarters and the Machine Intelligence Research Institute at UC Berkeley.

DETAILS:Monday, September 8,2014, Northwestern University Downtown Campus, Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago. Social hour & registration 5 p.m., program 6 p.m. Free for C2ST members, $5 for students, $12 for all others. Register at: Andrea Poet at apoet@c2st.orgor 312-567-5795with any questions.

ABOUT C2ST:Chicago Council on Science and Technology is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that brings researchers and scientists out of the lab, directly to you. We work with national laboratories, leading academic institutions and museums to educate the public onissues of critical scientific importance. In an age when barely one in four voting adults meet a basic level of scientific literacy, we aim to reignite an excitement and passion for science and technology, and remind Chicagoans of the quality and quantityof R&D that takes place in their backyard.