Addressing one of today’s most acclaimed technological frontiers, Michael Medved and professor of electrical and computer engineering Robert Marks discuss the limits of artificial intelligence. They begin with definitions — What is a computer? What is an algorithm? — before tackling some pervasive media myths. Can a computer innovate or only imitate? Can computers now really do anything different from the Turing Machine, devised as a model by Alan Turing in the 1930s? Could a computer be programmed to interact with humans like the sinister HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey? The answer is yes, says Bob Marks, and whatever flaws such a machine displayed would be the faults inadvertently woven into it by its human programmers.
There are some definite “Stop the world, I want to get off” moments in the new Great Minds with Michael Medved podcast from Discovery Institute. Michael talks with economist Jay Richards about the future of “smart machines,” including sex robots. Dr. Richards, author of the new book The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines, offers a balanced view of what the future holds.
Of his many specialties, in this episode Michael inquires into David Gelernter’s professional preoccupation: artificial intelligence. Gelernter recalls the pioneering role of his father, warns of the perils of letting children be captive to flickering screens, and remarks on whether AI robots can be spiritual seekers. Gelernter also emphasizes the key role of the Judeo-Christian Western tradition in creating a free and idealistic context in which technology is primed to explode.