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A Peek at the Future of AI Governance

OpenAI and Google's DeepMind recently published some really interesting research on a new approach to using human preferences in shaping machine learning algorithms.

In this piece, I dissect this research to try to make it easier to understand and then investigate some of its implications. The biggest, I think, has to do with how we humans might govern AI in the future. And that's important stuff.

#MachineTraining #MachineLearning #Governance #AI

P.S. Yes, I shared an earlier version of this but made some tweaks and so am re-sharing.

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A New Take

Those of you who know my writing might be forgiven for being confused about what it is that I focus on. Is it technology and AI or is it mission-driven, stakeholder-friendly organizations?

The answer is both. And I've now taken a short crack at how these two topics connect on the new "About" page for the Vital Edge.

This website features a seemingly incongruous combination of writings about the future of technology and the need for us to reform human organizations. The reason for this pairing is that I believe that today’s organizations are the seedbed from which the future of planetary intelligence now grows. It is my belief that our single greatest point of leverage for ensuring a positive future for humanity and the planet rests with the “code beneath the code” of today’s organizations.

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I Just Have a Few More Questions

Service designed to punish spammers, sucking then into a morass of conversations with chatbots.

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Stupid backlash against Google Maps calorie counter feature. And now, rather than fixing the implementation, it's just easier for Google to kill it.


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Brian Arthur argues automation make distribution increasingly equal in importance to economic efficiency.

However this happens, we have entered a different phase for the economy, a new era where production matters less and what matters more is access to that production: distribution, in other words—who gets what and how they get it.

We have entered the distributive era.

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The Secret Sauces of Humanity

Love is what will always differentiate us from AI. Narrow AI has no self awareness, emotions, or a “heart.” Narrow AI has no sense of beauty, fun, or humor. It doesn’t even have feelings or self-consciousness. Can you imagine the ecstasy that comes from beating a world champion? AlphaGo bested the globe’s best player, but took no pleasure in the game, felt no happiness from winning, and had no desire to hug a loved one after its victory.

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Metcalf, along with researchers from six other institutions, has recently formed a group called Pervade to try to mend the system. This summer, they received a three million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, and over the next four years, Pervade wants to put together a clearer ethical process for big data research that both universities and companies could use. “Our goal is to figure out, what regulations are actually helpful?” he says. But before then, we’ll be relying on the kindness—and foresight—of strangers.

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I've seen these arguments many times, but it's a good reminder that technology always exists within an organizational context. In this case, it is Facebook.

Algorithms can be gorgeous expressions of logical thinking, not to mention a source of ease and wonder. They can track down copies of obscure 19th-century tomes in a few milliseconds; they put us in touch with long-lost elementary school friends; they enable retailers to deliver packages to our doors in a flash. Very soon, they will guide self-driving cars and pinpoint cancers growing in our innards. But to do all these things, algorithms are constantly taking our measure. They make decisions about us and on our behalf. The problem is that when we outsource thinking to machines, we are really outsourcing thinking to the organisations that run the machines.

Facebook would never put it this way, but algorithms are meant to erode free will, to relieve humans of the burden of choosing, to nudge them in the right direction. Algorithms fuel a sense of omnipotence, the condescending belief that our behaviour can be altered, without our even being aware of the hand guiding us, in a superior direction. That’s always been a danger of the engineering mindset, as it moves beyond its roots in building inanimate stuff and begins to design a more perfect social world. We are the screws and rivets in the grand design.

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Using data to study the personality and build "Empathy Engines"

J. Galen Buckwalter, who developed the relationship-matching algorithm at eHarmony, notes that personality changes most in response to relationships. He's now using data and machine learning to build what he calls "Empathy Engines" that can be used to better understand one another.

They are building off of a hexagon model (also called "OCEAN"), which now uses 6 factors:
* Openness
* Conscientiousness
* Extraversion
* Agreeableness
* Emotionality
* Honesty

His new company is psyML:

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Neural Extensions

The interface to machine upgrades of human capabilities will be our brains.

This is all possible because, as Prof. Cerf explains, the human brain is amazing at "interpreting signals and finding meaning in them." When we think, we don't identify what part of the brain the thought came from or how it traveled within our cortex. In the same way, if we get signals from a chip implanted in our brain we won't feel like it is done by a foreign object - it will just feel like us.

This is why when we drive, for example, the car can feel like an extension of ourselves.

HT +John Verdon
This Neuroscientist Thinks He Knows the Future of Human Evolution, and It Will Surprise and Inspire You

"What do you see as the next stage of human evolution? Do you imagine we will be catered-to by robots and become fatter, lazier versions of our current selves? Or maybe batteries in a dystopian future where we service machines (much like the humans depicted in pretty much every Hollywood film). Do you think we will more closely resemble characters from a Marvel movie with claws, laser vision or telepathy? Are these things really possible for humanity's future? If so, how do we get them?

Famed neuroscientist and former hacker Moran Cerfbelieves neuroscience might have the answer. I first met Prof. Cerf after one of his lectures and have collaborated with him on research since. In his most recent TEDx Talk, titled: "Human version 2.0", the Kellogg professor of neuroscience and business says that for the first time, humans are gaining control over their own evolution. Before, evolution was driven by Natural Selection. Now, advances in technology are making it so that it is driven by an Intelligent Designer - us..."

#Future = #REALnews #robots #tech #innovation #science #design #singularity #engineering #automation #AI #artificialintelligence #economy #finance #universalbasicincome #basicincome #money #UBI #evolution
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