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Category: existential risks

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

link.medium.com/YRFzoB3Xr5 This article is relevant to our recent discussions and Zak Stein’s (see Edward’s recent post) suggestion that great destabilizing events open gaps in which new structures can supplant older, disintegrating systems–with the inherent risks and opportunities.

Rapid Personality Change and the Psychological Rebirth

Rapid Personality Change and the Psychological Rebirth

Informative video on this process. Ofttimes we need to descend into hell before we can ascend into a new life. And this seems the overall process of human development, that for each stage we must go through this spiraling process of dissolution and reorganization. Hence we are far more than twice-born; we are multiply born anew at each stage. It seems though that the further we go in this process the greater the risks and rewards. Speaking of which, the…

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Book: Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

Book: Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff investigates the impacts of current and emerging technologies and digital culture on individuals and groups and seeks ways to evade or extract ourselves from their corrosive effects. After you read the book, please post your thoughts as comments to this post or, if you prefer, as new posts. There are interviews and other resources about the book online. Feel free to recommend in the comments those you find meaningful. Also, the audiobook is available through…

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Applying artificial intelligence for social good

Applying artificial intelligence for social good

This McKinsey article is an excellent overview of this more extensive article (3 MB PDF) enumerating the ways in which varieties of deep learning can improve existence. Worth a look. The articles cover the following: Mapping AI use cases to domains of social good AI capabilities that can be used for social good Overcoming bottlenecks, especially around data and talent Risks to be managed Scaling up the use of AI for social good

Musk: merging of humans and technology essential to survival

Musk: merging of humans and technology essential to survival

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″][et_pb_row][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.17.6″] From Axios interview with Elon Musk: Musk said his neuroscience company, Neuralink, has about 85 of “the highest per capita intelligence” group of engineers he has ever assembled — with the mission of building a hard drive for your brain. “The long-term aspiration with Neuralink would be to achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” Wait. What? “To achieve a sort of democratization of intelligence, such that it is not monopolistically held in a purely digital form by governments…

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Review and partial rebuttal of Bostrom’s ‘Superintelligence’

Review and partial rebuttal of Bostrom’s ‘Superintelligence’

This article from the Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists site is an interesting overview of Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. The author rebuts Bostrom on several points, relying partly on the failure of AI research to date to produce any result approaching what most humans would regard as intelligence. The absence of recognizably intelligent artificial general intelligence is not, of course, a proof it can never exist. The author also takes issue with Bostrom’s (claimed) conflation of intelligence with inference…

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The religious brain and atheism

The religious brain and atheism

As much of the world settles into the spectacle and cozy embrace of culturally reinforced magical thinking, New Scientist has several interesting recent articles about the evolved intuitive nature of religious thinking as a cognitive by-product (of the value of assuming agency in environmental phenomena, for example) and delving into how atheism is and is not like religious thinking. I find the point interesting that religion and atheism (or any ism), as social constructs, cannot be studied and compared in the…

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Are We Racists?

Are We Racists?

BMAI friends. The following ramble is my first cut at making sense of the grave role racial (and other) bias is playing in the world today. This was prompted by comments I see daily from my family and friends on social media. Thinking about the great lack of self- and group-awareness many of the commenters display, I turned my scope inward. How do my own innate, evolved biases slant me to take my group’s and my own privileges for granted and…

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