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Artificial Intelligence In The Garden Of Eden

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The dawn of the internet age was so exciting. I took my grade-school son, enthralled by Apple computers, to see Steve Jobs speak at a raucous convention in New York almost a quarter-century ago. What fervor there was. At a seminar out West 30 years ago I attended a lecture by young, wild-haired Nathan Myhrvold, then running Microsoft Research, who talked about what was happening: A new thing in history was being born. But a small, funny detail always gave me pause and stayed with me. It was that from the beginning of the age its great symbol was the icon of what was becoming its greatest company, Apple. It was the boldly drawn apple with the bite taken out. Which made me think of Adam and Eve in the garden, Adam and Eve and the fall, at the beginning of the world… For me the icon has always been a caution about this age, a warning. It’s on my mind because of the artificial-intelligence debate, though that’s the wrong word because one side is vividly asserting that terrible things are coming and the other side isn’t answering but calmly, creamily, airily deflecting Luddite fears by showing television producers happy videos of robots playing soccer. But developing AI is biting the apple. Something bad is going to happen. I believe those creating, fueling and funding it want, possibly unconsciously, to be God and on some level think they are God… (READ MORE)

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