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Monday, March 27, 2017

We have nothing to fear from artificial intelligence, says pioneer | The Times

Follow on Twitter as @olivernmoody
"Elon Musk and Bill Gates are among those who fear that artificial intelligence threatens mankind, but such critics have been rebuked by the head of Google’s project to make a machine that can learn and create like a person." summarizes Oliver Moody, Science Correspondent.

Demis Hassabis says the grim vision of the future posed by AI were largely based on ignorance.
Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/Getty Images

Deep Mind, a British business bought by Google three years ago, is taking on problems from diseases to inefficiencies in the National Grid, just as others say that a superhuman AI could be our deadliest invention.

Demis Hassabis, Deep Mind’s chief executive, said that apocalyptic visions of the future were mostly based on ignorance. “I don’t think it’s very helpful for other people who are incredible in their domains commenting on something they actually know very little about,” he said, “but because they are quite big celebrities now, more than just scientists or businessmen, it gets picked up a lot.”

Dr Hassabis told an event organised by the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research: “There are some valid worries and I think these are research questions of vulnerability and interpretability, but I think this general meme of fearfulness doesn’t help reasoned debate.

“ It actually drives that debate away. I’ve told all of those people you mentioned [Mr Musk and Mr Gates] that it’s not very helpful. Some of them have moderated their comments, but others haven’t.”

Source: The Times