Author: Christopher Reuenthal

Plenty of Room for AI-nxiety

Editor’s note: this essay is part of an ongoing series hosted by Quillette debating the practical and ethical implications of AI. If you would like to contribute or respond to this essay or others in the series, please send a submission to pitch@quillette.com. In light of recent articles addressing the apprehension surrounding Artificial Intelligence and its implications, there are two things that ought to be brought to bear. There is the effect of the most moral of artificial intelligences, and then there is the impact of human goals on the development of AI. It should be noted that we are not talking about contemporary AI here; we’re discussing the as-yet-unseen future AI, the Strong Artificial Intelligence, a general intelligence capable of the same types of universal reasoning, prediction, and analysis that humans undertake. Here I will be referring to it as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) in order to differentiate it from our digital Go players and car drivers. The Benevolent Superintelligence Thomas Metzinger is a German philosopher who is most known for his works on consciousness and ethics. He …

Misunderstanding Capitalism

On 3 November, Jacobin magazine hosted a public debate (available here) on the merits of capitalism. Representing Jacobin, Bhaskar Sunkara and Vivek Chibber made the case for the prosecution; representing libertarian magazine Reason, Nick Gillespie and Katherine Mangu-Ward made the case for the defense. Michelle Goldberg, a columnist for the New York Times, served as moderator and opened proceedings by declaring herself persuadable by either side. To the participants’ credit, it was exciting to see people of opposing viewpoints engaging in civil debate during these tribal and polarized times. Podcast: @reason debates @jacobinmag on capitalism, socialism: @nickgillespie and @kmanguward make the case for “free minds and free markets” as the best way to improve the world https://t.co/wGhCixLPDC — reason (@reason) November 16, 2017 This debate offered an opportunity to reflect on the respective merits of capitalism and socialism (the Jacobin representatives’ preferred alternative) and lessons from the past that might help us to build a better tomorrow. It was, however, also a frustrating affair, not least because of persistent misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the subject …