Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today's most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of "machines that think."
Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race." Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of "superintelligence" in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("the world's smartest website" The Guardian), asked the world's most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today's most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?
Steven Pinker considers the internal metal life of robots * Frank Tipler explains how artificial intelligence (AI) will save humanity and colonize space * Martin Rees explores why humans are merely an evolutionary stage on the path to a machine-dominated world * Nicholas Carr examines the challenges of maintaining control over machines * Daniel C. Dennett identifies the true danger of the coming technological "singularity" * Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek asserts that all intelligence is machine intelligence * musician Brian Eno suggests that human society remains our most powerful supercomputer * George Dyson argues that genuine creative thinking will always be analog, not digital * Alison Gopnik asks whether machines will ever be as smart as a three-year-old * Richard Thaler thinks human stupidity will always impede artificial intelligence * Wired founder Kevin Kelly calls AIs an "alien intelligence" * plus contributions from Nobel laureate John C. Mather, Matt Ridley, Freeman Dyson, Douglas Rushkoff, Helen Fisher, Sam Harris, George Church, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Esther Dyson, Nick Bostrom, and others.