“Ex Machina” and the Paper Clips of Doom

Max Tegmark, physicist and visionary, is the founder of the Future of Life Institute and someone who would like artificial intelligence to be developed with safeguards to keep it under control. Credit: Josh Reynolds for The Washington PostA while back I interviewed the film director Alex Garland, who stopped in Washington to promote his smart and thrilling science fiction flick “Ex Machina.” I wanted to include Garland in a story I was writing on artificial intelligence. Unfortunately, he didn’t make the cut by the time the 137th draft (approximately) of the story ran in Monday’s newspaper. But I remembered this week that it was Garland who first told me about Nick Bostrom’s idea of a runaway paper clip factory powered by machine superintelligence. I later talked to Bostrom after he…


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