Activists Stage Anti-AI Protest At SXSW

With chants of "I say robot, you say no-bot!", a group of protesters took to the streets in Austin, Texas to warn against the rise of artificial intelligence. The movement, though small in number, may be the start of a larger trend. » 3/16/15 7:40am 3/16/15 7:40am

Experts Gather To Discuss Whether We Should Send Messages To Aliens

This coming weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, experts will be discussing the potential benefits and risks of a SETI scheme in which messages about Earth — including the entire contents of Wikipedia — would be transmitted to hundreds of star systems. » 2/09/15 8:40am 2/09/15 8:40am

Bill Gates has joined the growing chorus of concern over the potential risks of artificial superintelligence. He shared his thoughts in a recent Reddit AMA, writing: "I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned." He has now added his name to an open letter… » 1/29/15 3:40pm 1/29/15 3:40pm

Edge Asks The Intellects: What Do You Think About Machines That Think?

This year's Edge.org question asks, "What do you think about machines that think?" Editor John Brockman collected 182 individual responses from such prominent thinkers as Nick Bostrom, Daniel Dennett, Rodney Brooks, Susan Blackmore, Alison Gopnik, Andy Clark, and Martin Rees. » 1/22/15 4:40pm 1/22/15 4:40pm

Prominent Scientists Sign Letter of Warning About AI Risks 

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and many other prominent figures have signed an open letter pushing for responsible AI oversight in order to mitigate risks and ensure the "societal benefit" of the technology. » 1/14/15 7:00pm 1/14/15 7:00pm

What Do Bhopal And Chernobyl Have To Do With Artificial Intelligence?

Everything, actually. Artificial intelligence is poised to accompany humanity for the rest of its existence. We have a responsibility to make it safe. While we still can. » 1/08/15 2:20pm 1/08/15 2:20pm

Stephen Hawking is once again warning about the perils of AI. "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," he recently told the BBC, adding that "It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate...Humans, who are limited by slow biological… » 12/02/14 6:00pm 12/02/14 6:00pm

The Myth of AI Is More Harmful Than AI Itself

Artist and computer scientist Jaron Lanier has penned a longread for The Edge where he argues that the biggest threat of artificial intelligence comes from the fact that it's an elaborate fraud, and that it introduces religious thinking to what should otherwise be a technical field. » 11/14/14 2:20pm 11/14/14 2:20pm

Could Game Theory Be Used To Prevent Human Extinction?

Game theory is a powerful tool for understanding strategic behavior in economics, business, and politics. But some experts say its true power may lie in its ability to help us navigate a perilous future. » 10/23/14 11:20am 10/23/14 11:20am

Are We Overthinking the Dangers of Artificial Intelligence?

Futurists and science fiction authors often give us overly grim visions of the future, especially when it comes to the Singularity and the risks of artificial superintelligence. Scifi novelist David Brin talked to us about why these dire predictions are often simplistic and unreasonable. » 10/07/14 11:14am 10/07/14 11:14am

10 Horrifying Technologies That Should Never Be Allowed To Exist

As we head deeper into the 21st century, we're starting to catch a glimpse of the fantastic technological possibilities that await. But we're also starting to get a grim sense of the potential horrors. Here are 10 frightening technologies that should never, ever, come into existence. » 9/16/14 10:10am 9/16/14 10:10am

How Artificial Superintelligence Will Give Birth To Itself

There's a saying among futurists that a human-equivalent artificial intelligence will be our last invention. After that, AIs will be capable of designing virtually anything on their own — including themselves. Here's how a recursively self-improving AI could transform itself into a superintelligent machine. » 7/23/14 11:30am 7/23/14 11:30am

Is It Time to Give Up on the Singularity?

Some futurists and science fiction writers predict that we're on the cusp of a world-changing "Technological Singularity." Skeptics say there will be no such thing. Today, I'll be debating author Ramez Naam about which side is right. » 6/05/14 11:16am 6/05/14 11:16am

The 5 Biggest Threats To Human Existence

In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. Not those who will live 200 years from now, but 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. » 6/01/14 9:00am 6/01/14 9:00am

A Visualization Showing Where Asteroids Have Hit The Earth Since 2001

A new visualization produced by the B612 foundations reveals 26 significant explosive events recorded from 2001 to 2013 that were not the result of nuclear detonations — but rather asteroids hitting the Earth. That's a surprise, to say the least. » 4/22/14 3:08pm 4/22/14 3:08pm

Why Asimov's Three Laws Of Robotics Can't Protect Us

It's been 50 years since Isaac Asimov devised his famous Three Laws of Robotics — a set of rules designed to ensure friendly robot behavior. Though intended as a literary device, these laws are heralded by some as a ready-made prescription for avoiding the robopocalypse. We spoke to the experts to find out if Asimov's… » 3/28/14 9:00am 3/28/14 9:00am

Could a juiced-up particle accelerator destroy the Earth?

One of the world's largest particle colliders is about to undergo upgrades that will make it considerably more powerful than it is now. The ensuing experiments will once again take us into uncharted scientific waters, prompting critics to warn of a potential catastrophe — one powerful enough to destroy our entire… » 2/13/14 9:00am 2/13/14 9:00am

Doomsday clock holds steady at five minutes to apocalypse

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is leaving the big hand of the infamous "Doomsday Clock" at five minutes to midnight, telling the head of the UN there's little reason to pull it back. » 1/15/14 4:00pm 1/15/14 4:00pm

Can we build an artificial superintelligence that won't kill us?

At some point in our future, an artificial intelligence will emerge that's smarter, faster, and vastly more powerful than us. Once this happens, we'll no longer be in charge. But what will happen to humanity? And how can we prepare for this transition? We spoke to an expert to find out. » 1/15/14 11:41am 1/15/14 11:41am

Yes, One Person Could Actually Destroy the World

Apocalyptic weapons are currently the domain of world powers. But this is set to change. Within a few decades, small groups — and even single individuals — will be able to get their hands on any number of extinction-inducing technologies. As shocking as it sounds, the world could be destroyed by a small team or a… » 11/25/13 11:27am 11/25/13 11:27am