Episode 031: Alpha, Omega, Ooh I Wanna Take Ya

Up top! via Wikimedia Commons

Bonus Bros for you this week. Some more reflections on AlphaGo, and where this whole mess might be heading. Brovenido!

Here’s what it do:

  • AlphaGo is the greatest of all timez. But you knew that already.
  • Ray Kurzweil made for one of the best episodes of StarTalk Radio.
  • An excerpt from The Selfish Gene: “The evolution of the capacity to simulate seems to have culminated in subjective consciousness. Why this should have happened is, to me, the most profound mystery facing modern biology. There is no reason to suppose that electronic computers are conscious when they simulate, although we have to admit that in the future they may become so. Perhaps consciousness arises when the brain’s simulation of the world becomes so complete that it must include a model of itself.” If I understand how bibliographies work, I believe Dawkins attributes this idea to Richard Alexander.
  • DeepMind’s next arena: StarCraft.
  • Stephen Omohundro’s influential paper, The Basic AI Drives. You can also find a great synopsis of it—along with about a billion other interesting and/or terrifying AI-related items—in James Barrat’s excellent Our Final Invention.
  • So I think whatever I said about cosmological evolution was deeply confused and that it isn’t a product of inflationary cosmology. Or maybe it still is, fuck, I dunno. Here to clean up my mess (somewhat) is Lee Smolin, in text and video. Thanks, Lee! No problem, Scott. We’re definitely friends and stuff.

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