on 13 January 2001
A brilliant read,
For those who simply dismiss the ideas put forward, Think back to what it was like in the year 1911/12 -
The titanic was never going to sink. Europe was stable, "no chance of war". People were naïve, and didn't want to think about possibilities of what could happen.
My advice, of course make up your own mind, read "In the mind of he machine".
on 31 August 2000
What evidence does Warwick offer in support of this potential doomsday scenario? Zilch. What reasoned argument does he present to convince us that intelligent machines would, without question, subjugate us or even destroy us? None at all. From page one to the bitter end, the charge is merely an assertion and painfully similar to the kind of assertions bigots tend to make about the targets of their bigotry. "They're out to get us. They'll take our jobs. They'll eat our babies"
A more thoughtful analysis would accept that there are indeed risks arising from the increased intelligence of machines. Intelligent cruise missiles, capable of identifying (most of the time) a precise target in the middle of a city were an early example of how such intelligence could eventually become a threat to us all. If we choose to create "terminators" then we'll all be in deep doodoo!
The crucial phrase in that last sentence is "if we choose". There is little doubt that the technology could be made to go that way. What Warwick and other technophobes are postulating, however, is that technology will inevitably go that way even if we do not choose it. In other words, Warwick sees as inevitable that machines with sufficient intellect would, of their own volition, decide that it would be a good idea to do away with the human race. Thus, he (presumably) implies (he never actually states it), that we'd better do something soon to prevent machines ever acquiring such intelligence....
In conclusion, if you bought the book as part of your own "Quest for Intelligence" you won't find it here. If you're a technophobe, it will reinforce your fears and prejudices and you'll no doubt start quoting it as a biblical revelation of the dangers awaiting us. If you're a technophile you'll yawn and go looking for a more serious discussion.