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Are we building Gods or Terminators?

19th September 2012

Hugo de Garis is the past director of the Artificial Brain Lab at Xiamen University in China. He is best known for his doomsday book, The Artilect War (abstract follows below):

This paper claims that the "species dominance" issue will dominate our global politics later this century. Humanity will be bitterly divided over the question of whether to build godlike, massively intelligent machines, called "artilects" (artificial intellects) which with 21st century technologies will have mental capacities trillions of trillions of times above the human level. Humanity will split into 3 major camps, the "Cosmists" (in favor of building artilects), the "Terrans" (opposed to building artilects), and the "Cyborgs" (who want to become artilects themselves by adding components to their own human brains). A major "artilect war" between the Cosmists and the Terrans, late in the 21st century will kill not millions but billions of people.

In this recent interview with Singularity 1 on 1, he talks about how and why he got interested in artificial intelligence; Moore's Law and the laws of physics; the hardware and software requirements for artificial intelligence; why cutting-edge experts are often missing the writing on the wall; emerging intelligence and other approaches to AI; Dr. Henry Markram's Blue Brain Project; the stakes in building AI and his concepts of ArtIlects, Cosmists and Terrans; cosmology, the Fermi Paradox and the Drake equation; the advance of robotics and the political, ethical, legal and existential implications thereof; species dominance as the major issue of the 21st century; the technological singularity and our chances of surviving it in the context of fast and slow take-off:



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