Like tears in the rain

Forbes magazine has an excellent special issue that is rammed full of diverse and interesting articles on artificial intelligence.

It’s a large collection of short articles that covers everything from the mathematics of free will to the likelihood of there being a robot war in the future (see, it’s not just me).

There are a fair few speculative pieces, so those who like their transhumanists with a pinch of salt may have to be ready with the seasoning, but wide variety of articles means there should be something for everyone.

Each intends to introduce an idea rather than explore it in detail. I liked the pieces on whether AI can help fight terrorism and another on how the use of AI to explore theories of the mind has declined, and I’m still reading through the rest.

The only slight annoyance is that the series starts with the clich√© question “Can machines think?”

Perhaps the single most sensible response I ever read to this was a quote from a speech but the much missed Dutch computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra:

“The question of whether machines can think… is about as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim.”

Link to Forbes ‘AI Report’.

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