John Searle: “Consciousness in Artificial Intelligence” | Talks at Google – YouTube

John Searle is the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His Talk at Google is focused on the philosophy of mind and the potential for consciousness in artificial intelligence. This Talk was hosted for Google’s Singularity Network.

John is widely noted for his contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and social philosophy. Searle has received the Jean Nicod Prize, the National Humanities Medal, and the Mind & Brain Prize for his work. Among his notable concepts is the “Chinese room” argument against “strong” artificial intelligence.
Source: John Searle: “Consciousness in Artificial Intelligence” | Talks at Google – YouTube

How Elon Musk and Y Combinator Plan to Stop Computers From Taking Over — Backchannel — Medium

They’re funding a new organization, OpenAI, to pursue the most advanced forms of artificial intelligence —

As if the field of AI wasn’t competitive enough  — with giants like Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and even car companies like Toyota scrambling to hire researchers — there’s now a new entry, with a twist. It’s a non-profit venture called OpenAI, announced today, that vows to make its results public and its patents royalty-free, all to ensure that the scary prospect of computers surpassing human intelligence may not be the dystopia that some people fear. Funding comes from a group of tech luminaries including Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, Jessica Livingston and Amazon Web Services. They have collectively pledged more than a billion dollars to be paid over a long time period. The co-chairs are Musk and Sam Altman, the CEO of Y Combinator, whose research group is also a funder. (As is Altman himself.)

Source: How Elon Musk and Y Combinator Plan to Stop Computers From Taking Over — Backchannel — Medium

Why Hacking DNA Is the Secret of Deep-Space Travel

Genetic engineering will revolutionize the way we send humans to other worlds.

Scientists worldwide are rapidly increasing their ability to genetically re-engineer plants, animals, and microbes. Amor Menezes, an aerospace engineer and synthetic biology researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that augmented organisms could transform long-term human space missions. Menezes and his research team just published an outline in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface on the six most promising applications for such engineered organisms. Here’s how genetic engineering will revolutionize space travel.

Source: Why Hacking DNA Is the Secret of Deep-Space Travel

Your New Medical Team: Algorithms and Physicians

Machines have their limits, but automation can outperform doctors in a few areas.

Can machines outperform doctors? Not yet. But in some areas of medicine, they can make the care doctors deliver better.

Humans repeatedly fail where computers — or humans behaving a little bit more like computers — can help. Even doctors, some of the smartest and best-trained professionals, can be forgetful, fallible and prone to distraction. These statistics might be disquieting for anyone scheduled for surgery: One in about 100,000 operations is on the wrong body part. In one in 10,000, a foreign object — like a surgical tool — is accidentally left inside the body.

Source: Your New Medical Team: Algorithms and Physicians

Data Storage on DNA Can Keep It Safe for Centuries – The New York Times

SEATTLE — Computer data has been depicted as microscopic magnetic smudges, electric charges and even Lilliputian patterns of dots that reflect laser beams. It may ultimately move into the fabric of life itself — encoded in the organic molecules that are strung together like pearls to form strands of DNA.

In two recent experiments, a team of computer scientists at the University of Washington and Microsoft, and a separate group at the University of Illinois, have shown that DNA molecules can be the basis for an archival storage system potentially capable of storing all of the world’s digital information in roughly nine liters of solution, about the amount of liquid in a case of wine.

The new research demonstrates that specific digital files can be retrieved from a potentially vast pool of data. The new storage technology would also be capable of keeping immense amounts of information safely for a millennium or longer, researchers said.

Source: Data Storage on DNA Can Keep It Safe for Centuries – The New York Times