Humans are quite good at thinking, relative to other animals, plants, and rocks. But we are, perhaps, sometimes not as good at it as we might be. Fortunately, perhaps, our ability to think has given us the means to upgrade our ability to think, both at an individual and at a civilisational level. The development of language, accounting, the scientific method, and human rights, among many others, can all be viewed as software upgrades for individual, group, and civilisational thinking. None of these upgrades have come without both costs and benefits. This view of our history makes the accelerating rise of computational and recently Artificial Intelligence technologies seem almost inevitable.

In this talk, hosted by the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Science, Michael Witbrock will survey some of the upgrades that most directly predict the path towards broadly capable AI, while looking at indicators that such AI is fairly imminent. He will also touch on the enormous opportunities and risks of this AI-based upgrade for individuals, organisations, societies and human civilisation.

Michael Witbrock is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Auckland. He is an expert in artificial intelligence.

This lecture was hosted by the Faculty of Science at the University of Auckland.

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Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this lecture reflect the views of the lecturer and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

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