Mitchell Howe has a short article called â€œWhat are the Odds?â€ which discusses the bet between Ray Kurzweil and Mitchell Kapor. I love Kurzweil’s books so this caught my attention.
“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a topic that always seems to drop on and off the radar of public interest in synch with Hollywood portrayals and celebrity prognostications. Indeed, the most recent spat of attention has followed a much-publicized $10,000 wager made by futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil against corporate trailblazer Mitchell Kapor. The bet, solemnized at www.longbets.org (where all winnings go to charity), is that a computer, or â€œmachine intelligence,â€ will pass the so-called Turing test by 2029. The Turing test, a challenge to see if a computer can fool a human judge into thinking it is human, is a traditional benchmark for the point when true Artificial Intelligence can be said to have been achieved – a historic moment, by any measure.
But with recent discussion of AI taking place in the context of a wager, debates have tended to focus on the difficulty of the problem rather than the implications – as though the arrival of true Artificial Intelligence would only mean the difference between a robot making your coffee and brewing it yourself.
What are the stakes, really? Why should this wager matter to you personally? And what, exactly, are the odds?”
Mitchell then delves in at a high level explaining the two sides of the bet. This is a great little read if you’re at all interested in AI. For further reading you should check out The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. This book is so fascinating that I read it from front to back in just a few days.
Click on over and check out Mitchell’s article “What are the Odds?”
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