Noel Sharkey is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, and Professor of Public Engagement at the University of Sheffield. He holds a Doctorate in Experimental Psychology and a Doctorate of Science, and lectures extensively across academic disciplines, including engineering, philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, artificial intelligence and computer science. In addition to having published well over a hundred academic articles and books, Sharkey has worked closely with policy makers and the military to create awareness about the limitations of AI and the dangers of automated warfare. In addition to several media appearances (see below), Noel may be best known to some of you from his appearances as an expert on the BBC television series Robot Wars and Techno Games.
We spend most of the episode talking about the dangers of autonomous robots in the battlefield, but we also get a glimpse into Noel’s multifaceted and unconventional background. The conviction, honesty and sense of urgency Noel brings to the table is important and contagious, so I hope it’ll prove inspiring to many of you as well.
Some people think that the next big innovation in the coming decades is not going to involve the Internet because we can actually connect computers to the human mind. Therefore, Michio Kaku says this brain-to-brain communication would involve not just the exchange of information, but also the transmission of emotions and feelings, “because these are also part of the fabric of our thoughts.”
Developments in science and technology are fundamentally altering the way people live, connect, communicate and transact, with profound effects on economic development. To promote tech advance, developing countries should invest in quality education for youth, and continuous skills training for workers and managers.
How Big is Our Love? Can humans truly romantically love more than one person? Will there soon be group weddings with three, four, or five brides and/or grooms? What about ‘Jealousy’?! Or ‘The Family’?! Is polyamory / polygamy a transhumanist issue?
P. Tittle recently argued that those who teach and/or consult in business ethics ought to have degrees in philosophy. Her thesis is that “business ethics taught by business faculty, ethics programs run by managers, and so on – any applied ethics course taught by non-philosophers – is superficial at best.”
Aubrey de Grey is a well-known researcher on the process of ageing.
He sees ageing as a disease and believes science will soon be able to slow it down so that we’ll have more time for science to advance even further so we can fix the cellular damages of ageing and - maybe one day - live forever.
Robots and algorithms are getting good at jobs like building cars, writing articles, translating—jobs that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee walks through recent labor data to say: We ain’t seen nothing yet. But then he steps back to look at big history, and comes up with a surprising and even thrilling view of what comes next.
We know a lot about the history of life on Earth, but how it began is still one of our greatest scientific mysteries. One hypothesis is that life actually originated on another planet, and many scientists today take the idea quite seriously.
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