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Walter Bradley: Tell people about AI, not sci-fi


His struggle to bring reality to“sci-fi” origin of life research is Intro of the Walter Bradley Center’s inspiration for our work on AI:

The Bradley Center hopes to have a similar effect by promoting more general knowledge of fundamental issues around “thinking computers and questions around the real effects of technology on human well-being.

A friend sought to involve him in evolution issues in the mid-Seventies. He didn’t see how he could help; his specialty was materials science, where the subjects are interesting, “but they’re also dead.” He offered to evaluate research into the origin of life instead because he could better evaluate claims for the chemistry of non-living materials. There, he encountered a surprise: “It was very clear to me that they were absolutely like science fiction. They had so many claims and so little basis. And I was appalled that you had refereed journals that seemed to talk about these things as if they had real merit and real explanations.””Mind Matters

And he resolved to do something about it.

See also: A philosopher muses on why machines are not creative: Creativity does not follow computational rules He worries about something quite different from the usual robots-are-coming concern, “It is entirely possible that we will come to treat artificially intelligent machines as so vastly superior to us that we will naturally attribute creativity to them. Should that happen, it will not be because machines have outstripped us. It will be because we will have denigrated ourselves.”

... and winter is coming. (Spot the seasonal GoT gag.) There's no connection between what is currently known as AI and thinking machines. None whatsoever. Such a connection may theoretically be forged in the future but if it does it will be the result of decades (or centuries) of persistent application of intelligence, investigation, insight, and investment. One may also choose to call that evolution. If one is an idiot. ScuzzaMan
If everyone would doubt one who claimed that he understood how self-replicating, fully programmed robotic equipment might come about mindlessly and accidentally, why would anyone take seriously those who claim to understand how life, the functional complexity of which is light years beyond that of robotic equipment, might have come about mindlessly and accidentally? It seems that it is a case where ignorant science popularizers believe the origin of life is understood, yet they aren't corrected by the real experts who know better. ID takes the heat for pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes. harry

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