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Singularity Institute mentioned on Franco-German TV

10 Post author: XiXiDu 07 November 2011 02:14PM

The following is a clipping of a documentary about transhumanism that I recorded when it aired on Arte, September 22 2011.

At the beginning and end of the video Luke Muehlhauser and Michael Anissimov give a short commentary.

Download here: German, French (ask for HD download link). Should play with VLC player.

Sadly, the people who produced the show seemed to be somewhat confused about the agenda of the Singularity Institute. At one point they seem to be saying that the SIAI believes into "the good in the machines", adding "how naive!", while the next sentence talks about how the SIAI tries to figure out how to make machines respect humans.

Here is the original part of the clip that I am talking about:

In San Francisco glaubt eine Vereinigung ehrenamtlicher junger Wissenschaftler dennoch an das Gute im Roboter. Wie naiv! Hier im Singularity Institute, dass Kontakte zu den großen Unis wie Oxford hat, zerbricht man sich den Kopf darüber, wie man zukünftigen Formen künstlicher Intelligenz beibringt, den Menschen zu respektieren.

Die Forscher kombinieren Daten aus Informatik und psychologischen Studien. Ihr Ziel: Eine Not-to-do-Liste, die jedes Unternehmen bekommt, das an künstlicher Intelligenz arbeitet.

My translation:

In San Francisco however, a society of young voluntary scientists believes in the good in robots. How naive! Here at the Singularity Institute, which has a connection to big universities like Oxford, they think about how to teach future artificial intelligences to respect humans.

I am a native German speaker by the way, maybe someone else who speaks German can make more sense of it (and is willing to translate the whole clip).

Comments (20)

Comment author: spuckblase 07 November 2011 02:46:38PM *  4 points [-]

Die Forscher kombinieren Daten aus Informatik und psychologischen Studien. Ihr Ziel: Eine Not-to-do-Liste, die jedes Unternehmen bekommt, das an k√ľnstlicher Intelligenz arbeitet.

Rough translation:

The researchers combine data from computer science and psychological studies. Their goal: a not-to-do list, given to every organization working on artificial intelligence.

Comment author: Konkvistador 07 November 2011 02:32:19PM 4 points [-]

This video contains content from FOX, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

:(

Comment author: XiXiDu 07 November 2011 03:41:37PM *  2 points [-]

I uploaded it to Vimeo, does that work?

Comment author: Konkvistador 07 November 2011 04:11:00PM 1 point [-]

Yes. Thanks!

Comment author: XiXiDu 07 November 2011 02:44:00PM 1 point [-]

Damn, it works for me. Anyway, I added a download link to the post.

Comment author: kilobug 08 November 2011 08:43:56PM 3 points [-]

I just watched the French version, and it's quite ambiguous... The sentence translated by XiXiDu indeed says "In San Francisco however, a society of young voluntary scientists believes in the good in robots. How naive!" but then they show well that SIAI doesn't take this as a certain, but as a possibility, and that they're trying to work on that problem. And someone from SIAI (I think it was Luke) explains that an IA could very well, if needed, turn all matter on Earth to make a giant computer, destroying us all in the process. So not too bad overall, even if the catch phrase is badly formulated.

Comment author: NihilCredo 07 November 2011 02:48:25PM 2 points [-]

Hey, you wouldn't happen to have a link to the French version as well, would you?

Comment author: XiXiDu 07 November 2011 03:20:18PM *  5 points [-]

Hey, you wouldn't happen to have a link to the French version as well, would you?

Here you go.

Comment author: NihilCredo 07 November 2011 03:44:02PM 1 point [-]

Thank you!

Comment author: loup-vaillant 08 November 2011 09:11:36AM *  0 points [-]

The video I downloaded from this link hardly lasts 3 minutes. Was this intended? I'd really like to see the whole thing. (Edit: nevermind, I didn't see you talked about a clipping of this documentary.)

Comment author: XiXiDu 08 November 2011 10:42:41AM 2 points [-]

The video I downloaded from this link hardly lasts 3 minutes. Was this intended?

It was a documentary on transhumanism in general. They interviewed Kurzweil, Aubrey de Grey, Gordon Bell and various other people and groups like the Mars Society, 3D printing and biohacker groups. They also visited Intel and the Singularity University. Ted Kaczynski was portrayed shortly before the SIAI.

I didn't upload the whole thing for copyright reasons. There isn't really anything you haven't heard before. It was an overall portray of the scene without any valuation.

Comment author: loup-vaillant 08 November 2011 04:36:13PM 1 point [-]

OK, thanks. My primary motivation for seeing the whole thing wasn't to learn about transhumanism itself, but to learn about mainstream perception of it. (I reckon Arte isn't exactly mainstream, though.)

Comment author: Tyrrell_McAllister 08 November 2011 02:53:44AM 1 point [-]

I am a native German speaker by the way, maybe someone else who speaks German can make more sense of it (and is willing to translate the whole clip).

Context makes me wonder whether you meant to say that you are not a native German speaker.

Comment author: XiXiDu 08 November 2011 09:06:32AM *  3 points [-]

Context makes me wonder whether you meant to say that you are not a native German speaker.

I am a native German speaker but I'm nonetheless confused about their wording. It almost sounds like they interviewed the SIAI, which told them it would be naive to believe into "the good in robots", and then someone else was told to turn that into a script and messed it up.

Comment author: ChristianKl 29 November 2012 11:51:40PM 0 points [-]

When Holden wrote his criticism of SIAI he also made the point that SIAI is overly optimistic when it comes to creating a FAI.

Holden: I believe that the probability of an unfavorable outcome - by which I mean an outcome essentially equivalent to what a UFAI would bring about - exceeds 90% in such a scenario. I believe the goal of designing a "Friendly" utility function is likely to be beyond the abilities even of the best team of humans willing to design such a function.

SIAI considers the problem of creating FAI solvable. That view can be described as believing that there's good in the machine. If only we program them right, then they will be good.

Those journalists think that belief is naive.

The description isn't nice but I have seen worse in my own contact with the German media while promoting Quantified Self in German press.

Comment author: timtyler 07 November 2011 10:16:39PM *  0 points [-]

The clip is from the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, as it says under the clip.

The plot of that is actually about alien technology, rather than human technology gone wrong.

Comment author: loup-vaillant 08 November 2011 09:14:00AM 0 points [-]

And here I was thinking : "wait a minute, one second they talk about AI, and the next they show a Grey-Goo accident!?"

Comment author: timtyler 08 November 2011 05:36:03PM *  1 point [-]

The nanotech bugs do come from a large robot in the movie - and the clip does show machines taking over the world in the face of human resistance.

Comment author: loup-vaillant 09 November 2011 10:17:01AM 0 points [-]

I suppose you mean that large humanoid robots are supposed to signal AI? I have to say, I didn't get that clue. I only saw that robot as food for the nano-bugs, not any different from the big metal doors in the military base.

Comment author: Normal_Anomaly 07 November 2011 09:41:57PM 0 points [-]

At one point they seem to be saying that the SIAI believes into "the good in the machines",

I don't speak German; I'm working off your translation. But it looks to me like they're saying that many San Francisco scientists are naive about machines and SIAI is non-naive and dealing with the real issues.