Judea Pearl is a professor of computer science and the director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory at UCLA. He is known internationally for his contributions to artificial intelligence, human reasoning and philosophy of science. He is the author of over three hundred scientific papers and three landmark books in his fields of interest: Heuristics (1984), Probabilistic Reasoning (1988), and Causality (2000). His current interests are artificial intelligence and knowledge representation, probabilistic and causal reasoning, nonstandard logics and learning strategies. Pearl is the father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which he co-founded with his family in February 2002, "to continue Daniel’s life-work of dialogue and understanding and to address the root causes of his tragedy."
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In this episode we stray into the realm of artificial intelligence, what it means, its early beginnings and where it may be going in the future. We speak with Kristinn R. Thórisson from Reykjavik University in Iceland who’s been involved in the AI scene for the last 20 years. He tells us about some of the great advances, but also some of the disappointments in the field, and where he thinks AI will be used in the near future. We then attempt a closing definition on the question “What is a Robot?” with Prof. Wendelin Reich from the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study at Uppsala University, Sweden.
Hugo de Garis is the past director of the Artificial Brain Lab (ABL) at Xiamen University in China. Best known for his doomsday book The Artilect War, Dr. de Garis has always been on my wish-list of future guests on Singularity 1 on 1. Finally, a few weeks ago I managed to catch him for a 90 minutes interview via Skype.
During our discussion with Dr. de Garis we cover a wide variety of topics such as: how and why he got interested in artificial intelligence; Moore’s Law and the laws of physics; the hardware and software requirements for artificial intelligence; why cutting edge experts are often missing the writing on the wall; emerging intelligence and other approaches to AI; Dr. Henry Markram‘s Blue Brain Project; the stakes in building AI and his concepts of ArtIlects, Cosmists and Terrans; cosmology, the Fermi Paradox and the Drake equation; the advance of robotics and the political, ethical, legal and existential implications thereof; species dominance as the major issue of the 21st century; the technological singularity and our chances of surviving it in the context of fast and slow take-off.
A.I., artificial intelligence, has had a big run in Hollywood. The computer Hal in Kubrick’s “2001” was fiendishly smart. And plenty of robots and server farms beyond HAL. Real life A.I. has had a tougher launch over the decades. But slowly, gradually, it has certainly crept into our lives.
Think of all the “smart” stuff around you. Now an explosion in Big Data is driving new advances in “deep learning” by computers. And there’s a new wave of excitement.
Guests: Yann LeCun, professor of Computer Science, Neural Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University.
Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc.