Downside to ‘real AI’: Who wants to talk to a smart robot?

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[On June 19, IBM] announced that it had brought us one step closer to “real AI” (an intelligence as smart as a human) with its snappily named Project Debater: a supercomputer dedicated to the art of competitive debating. After years of research, this week it finally competed against two real-life human debaters.

6-27-2018 Project_Debater_with_human_professional.0
Image credit: IBM

Set aside for the moment the following facts: that Project Debater is called Project Debater, that it manifests as a black monolith emitting the gentle, affectless tones of a child-killing psychopath, and that its “thinking face” is an animated set of gently bouncing blue balls. Ignore these, and you are left with a machine that can argue with a real human in real time.

The irony of the route they have mapped for themselves is that if IBM does one day succeed in creating an intelligent machine, conscious of its own consciousness, capable of moving through the world and engaging its fellow sentient entities in conversation, it will most likely be a machine that no one will want to talk to.

Related article:  Gut bacteria transfers could help relieve autism symptoms, research shows

In terms of the much-feared Singularity, we will just have to hope that Project Unloveable, or whatever the researchers christen it, reaches the conclusion that taking over the world would not be enough to make people want to be its friend, and starts learning how to be a real person.

Read full, original post: Who’d want to be friends with a robot?

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