The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Agnese Smith

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Artificial intelligence

By Agnese Smith September 11, 2015 11 September 2015

Artificial intelligence

In the world of artificial intelligence, one expert’s astonished gasp at a recent breakthrough is another’s ho-hum look of indifference. One academic’s fear that supercomputers could one day threaten civilization is another’s “meh.”

There is little consensus in the scientific community about how close we are to creating AI that exceeds or even approaches human intelligence, also known as “the technological singularity.” It could take 20 or 100 years — or it might never happen. And these debates would have remained in academic corridors had certain technology and scientific luminaries not issued dire warnings that AI might someday destroy humanity.

They include the world’s best-known cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, and Stuart Russell, co-author of the standard textbook on AI, and Silicon Valley titans Elon Musk of SpaceX and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn who have also tweeted and commented on the “existential risk” that emerging technologies may pose. The latter have given millions to think tanks and academic associations that explore this theme.

But how seriously should concerns about supercomputers and their intentions be taken? Many leaders in the field say there’s no need to panic — we are not even close to synthetically replicating the human brain. The immediate goal of policy makers, experts say, should be to understand how existing technology affects today’s society.

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Article

Women on board(s)

By Agnese Smith December 16, 2014 16 December 2014

Women on board(s)

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Article

The elephant in the room

By Agnese Smith April 29, 2014 29 April 2014

The elephant in the room

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Article

Publish what you pay

By Agnese Smith June 12, 2013 12 June 2013

Publish what you pay

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Article

Nay on say

By Agnese Smith January 18, 2013 18 January 2013

Nay on say

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