Interview: Noam Chomsky on Singularity 1 on 1 (click here)
There are whole institutes fearing, for example, the creation of artificial intelligence, like the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (previously the Singularity Institute) who are fearing that once there is artificial general intelligence smarter than humans, that would pretty much signal the end of our species. We shouldn’t be concerned about that possibility in your view?
I think we should be concerned about the end of our species, but not for that reason!
We should be concerned about it because we are very busy dedicating ourselves to destroying the possibility for peace and survival. We should worry about that, like the most recent IPCC report.
But the Singularity stories are science fiction…
…what’s a program? A program is a theory. It’s a theory, written in an arcane, complex notation, designed to be executed by the machine. But about the program, you ask the same questions you ask about any other theory: does it give insight and understanding? Well, in fact, these theories (of artificial intelligence) don’t. They’re not designed with that in mind. And not surprisingly, they don’t. Not much; maybe marginally.
So what we’re asking is, “can we design a theory of being smart?” And we’re eons away from that.