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Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

posted Sep 5, 2014, 6:39 PM by ACM Chicago
Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.

Monday, September 8th, 2014 5:00pm
Hughes Auditorium
303 E. Superior Street
60611 ChicagoIL
See map: Google Maps

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful—possibly beyond our control. 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 the first 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?

This profoundly ambitious and original book 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 Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a 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 is the author of some 200 publications, including Anthropic Bias (Routledge, 2002), Global Catastrophic Risks (ed., OUP, 2008), and Human Enhancement (ed., OUP, 2009). He previously taught at Yale, and he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the British Academy. Bostrom has a background in physics, computational neuroscience, and mathematical logic as well as philosophy.

Copies of Bostrom’s book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies will be available for purchase and signing at the event for $20.
After his engagement with C2ST, Bostrom is scheduled to speak at the Microsoft Research Lab,
Google Headquarters and the Machine Intelligence Research Institute at UC Berkeley.

ACM members may register at the student rate at this link: