Artificial Intelligence

Ronald Bailey Wonders If Skynet Is Inevitable


Robot Hands

In the new Spike Jonze movie Her, an operating system called Samantha evolves into an enchanting self-directed intelligence with a will of her own. Not to spoil this visually and intellectually dazzling movie for anyone, but Samantha makes choices that do not harm humanity, though they do leave us feeling a bit sadder. In his terrific new book, Our Final Invention, the documentarian James Barrat argues that hopes for the development of an essentially benign artificial general intelligence (AGI) like Samantha amount to a silly pipe dream. The book has given technological optimist and Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey a lot to think about.