Posted BY: Bruce Deitrick Price

This vast multi-faceted subject will bewilder almost everyone for years to come.

We know this because Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire brainiacs, disagree diametrically.  So how can the rest of us find solid ground? 

Musk casually asserts, “A.I. is a fundamental threat to the existence of human civilization.”  Zuckerberg answers with some petulance, “A.I. is going to make our lives better. … Doomsday scenarios are pretty irresponsible.”

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People have been lecturing about climate change for many years, claiming this or that will happen in 25 years, 50 years, or 100 years.  What is proven?  A.I. is going to happen faster, and we will see it happen.  Musk urges major countries to restrict research on A.I. before it’s too late.  Not likely.  If you want something to keep you up at night, A.I. may be the thinking person’s choice.

All the hardware is moving faster, according to  Moore’s Law.  But that isn’t where the action is.  Algorithms are the rules or instructions that tell machines what to do.  Math geniuses are cleverly devising more ingenious algorithms.  They used to give the rules of a game to the machine.  No more.  Now they tell the computer to study a thousand great games and figure out what it should do to win its next game.  Surprising things happen.  Moves scorned by experts turn out to be genius! 

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