Stephen Hawking Stories December 2, 2014

The MIT Technology Review does a profile on DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis who sold his company to Google for $600+M earlier this year. The guy is clearly a genius and has degrees in both neuroscience and computer science and typical Google acquihire. But what caught my attention after looking at what DeepMind does and what Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking worry about:

Hassabis’s reluctance to talk about applications might be coyness, or it could be that his researchers are still in the early stages of understanding how to advance the company’s AI software. One strong indicator that Hassabis believes progress toward a powerful new form of AI will be swift is that he is setting up an ethics board inside Google to consider the possible downsides of advanced artificial intelligence. “It’s something that we or other people at Google need to be cognizant of. We’re still playing Atari games currently,” he says, laughing. “But we are on the first rungs of the ladder.”

That all these smart people are afraid of what AI can do to humanity is chilling. It is slightly reassuring that Google is thinking seriously about the implications.

A video of Hassabis explaining his work follows: expand full story

SwiftKey enables Stephen Hawking to communicate twice as fast

SwiftKey announced on Tuesday that it has collaborated with Intel on an ambitious project for the past two years: improving the communication system of Stephen Hawking. The custom keyboard maker makes it easier for the well-known scientist, who has motor neurone disease, to predict full words, based on a small sensor activated by a muscle in his cheek.

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