Beyonce And The Singularity

A couple of decades ago, I strolled through Washington Square Park on a warm summer night, idly observing the usual hustle and bustle of students, tourists, drunks, buskers,  hustlers, stand-up comedians, and sadly, folks selling oregano instead of good-to-honest weed. As I did so, I noticed a young man, holding up flyers and yelling, ‘LegalizeContinue reading “Beyonce And The Singularity”

Artificial Intelligence And ‘Real Understanding’

Speculation about–and vigorous contestations of–the possibility of ever realizing artificial intelligence have been stuck in a dreary groove ever since the Dartmouth conference: wildly optimistic predictions about the temporal proximity of the day machines (and the programs they run) will attain human levels of intelligence; followed by skeptical critique and taunting reminders of landmarks andContinue reading “Artificial Intelligence And ‘Real Understanding’”

Programs as Agents, Persons, or just Programs?

Last week, The Nation published my essay “Programs are People, Too“. In it, I argued for treating smart programs as the legal agents of those that deploy them, a legal change I suggest would be more protective of our privacy rights. Among some of the responses I received was one from a friend, JW, whoContinue reading “Programs as Agents, Persons, or just Programs?”

Don’t be a “Crabby Patty” About AI

Fredrik DeBoer has written an interesting post on the prospects for artificial intelligence, one that is pessimistic about its prospects and skeptical about some of the claims made for its success. I disagree with some of its implicit premises and claims. AI’s goals can be understood as being two-fold, depending on your understanding of theContinue reading “Don’t be a “Crabby Patty” About AI”

Personhood for Non-Humans (including Artificial Agents)

As these articles in recent issues of the New York Times (here and here) and the holding of the Personhood Beyond the Human conference indicate, personhood for non-humans is a live issue, both philosophical and legal. As I noted during the Concurring Opinions online symposium on my book A Legal Theory for Autonomous Artificial AgentsContinue reading “Personhood for Non-Humans (including Artificial Agents)”

The Personhood Beyond the Human Conference

This weekend (Dec 7-8) I am attending the Personhood Beyond the Human conference at Yale University. Here is a description of the conference’s agenda: The event will focus on personhood for nonhuman animals, including great apes, cetaceans, and elephants, and will explore the evolving notions of personhood by analyzing them through the frameworks of neuroscience,Continue reading “The Personhood Beyond the Human Conference”

The ‘Trickery’ of Robots

Maggie Koerth-Baker reports on a case of supposed trickery–(‘How Robots Can Trick You Into Loving Them‘, The New York Times, 17 September 2013)–that has come to light as robots become more ubiquitous and enter an increasing number of social spaces: In the future, more robots will occupy that strange gray zone: doing not only jobsContinue reading “The ‘Trickery’ of Robots”

Flying Solo, As Author, For a Change

Sometime this week or the next, my fourth book, Brave New Pitch: The Evolution of Modern Cricket (HarperCollins India 2012), will make its way to bookstores and online book-sellers. My fourth book differs in one crucial regard from those that have preceded it: I have not co-authored it with anyone; its jacket lists but oneContinue reading “Flying Solo, As Author, For a Change”

If Machines Do All The ‘Work’, What Will Humans Do?

At The Atlantic Moshe Vardi wonders about the consequences of machine intelligence.  Vardi’s article features the subtitle ‘If machines are capable of doing any work that humans can do, then what will humans do?’ and is occasioned by the following: While the loss of millions of jobs over the past few years has been attributedContinue reading “If Machines Do All The ‘Work’, What Will Humans Do?”

We Robot 2012 – Day One

I am posting today from the University of Miami Law School, which is staging the We Robot 2012 conference. I presented and discussed Patrick Hubbard’s (University of South Carolina Law School) Regulation of Liability for Risks of Physical Injury From “Sophisticated Robots”. Presenting someone else’s work presents a difficult challenge; thanks to being an academicContinue reading “We Robot 2012 – Day One”