Putin Weighs in on Artificial Intelligence and Elon Musk Is Alarmed
Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent remarks about the future with artificial intelligence prompted alarm from Elon Musk.
Divining what the Russian President Vladimir Putin really thinks has implications not only for his country but for the future of the rest the world. Recently, Putin has been expressing some feelings about artificial intelligence that have both intrigued and puzzled observers.
AI came up in Putin's September 21st conversation with Arkady Vorozh, the head of the Russian tech giant Yandex, during a tour of the company's headquarters. As Vorozh explained the potential of artificial intelligence, Putin seemed to show ambivalence towards its positive intentions, asking when will AI “eat us”?
After pausing to consider the unexpected remark, Vorozh replied “I hope never”, pitching AI as just another tool.
"It’s not the first machine to be better than humans at something,” remarked Vorozh. An excavator digs better than we do with a shovel. But we don’t get eaten by excavators. A car moves faster than we do…”
But Putin did not sound convinced, pointing out - “they don’t think,” presumably referring to the fact that an excavator is not intelligent while AI would be.
On the other side, Putin has previously acknowledged the importance of AI to the future of humanity and global politics. Speaking to students across the country about science on September 1st, at the start of the Russian school year, Putin said that “the future belongs to artificial intelligence.” And whichever nation will be at the forefront of the technology, will rule the world, according to the Russian President.
“Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind,” explained Putin. “It comes with colossal opportunities, but also threats that are difficult to predict. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”
In the 45-minute open lesson, attended via satellite links by students and teachers from 16,000 schools for a total audience of over one million, Putin also expressed his desire that no one should “monopolize” the AI field. He also offered that Russia would share what it learned with others in the word.
“If we become leaders in this area, we will share this know-how with entire world, the same way we share our nuclear technologies today,” maintained Putin.
Putin’s words prompted a reaction from Elon Musk, who famously continues to warn about the dangers posed by future AI. In a tweet, Musk cautioned that competition for “AI superiority’ could result in World War 3.
During the visit to the Yandex headquarters, Putin also managed to poke fun at the AI robot designed by the company. Watch that here:
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Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
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- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
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Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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