Digital Genies

It’s important that such systems understand humans as well, lest they inadvertently harm their creators. Andrea Danti/Thinkstock As artificial intelligence grows increasingly sophisticated, it also grows increasingly alien. Deep learning algorithms and other A.I. technologies are creating systems capable of solving problems in ways that humans might never consider. But it’s important that such systems understand humans as well, lest they inadvertently harm their creators. Accordingly, some researchers have argued that we need to help A.I. grasp human values—and, perhaps, the value of humans—from the start, making our needs a central part of their own development. To better understand some of the thinking around these issues, I spoke with Stuart Russell, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. Russell has been involved with A.I. research for…


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