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Ethical Machines episode 1: Mark Riedl

Computers can tell sto­ries but they’re always sto­ries that humans have input into a com­put­er, which are then just being regur­gi­tat­ed. But they don’t make sto­ries up on their own. They don’t real­ly under­stand the sto­ries that we tell. They’re not kind of aware of the cul­tur­al impor­tance of sto­ries. They can’t watch the same movies or read the same books we do. And this seems like this huge miss­ing gap between what com­put­ers can do and humans can do if you think about how impor­tant sto­ry­telling is to the human con­di­tion.

The Spawn of Frankenstein: Playing God

In Shelley’s vision, Frankenstein was the mod­ern Prometheus. The hip, up to date, learned, vital god who chose to cre­ate human life and paid the dire con­se­quences. To Shelley, gods cre­ate and for humans to do that is bad. Bad for oth­ers but espe­cial­ly bad for one’s cre­ator.

Mythophysics of the New Normal

The future is on the whole a won­der­ful thing because it will bring us new things that we haven’t seen before. And that’s why we stick around.

Esoteric Content

So the kind of tech­nolo­gies that get made are not nec­es­sar­i­ly very excit­ing. It’s some­thing that [Alexis] Madrigal of The Atlantic said, these tech­nolo­gies that are com­ing out of these star­tups, they’re nice, they’re cheap, they’re fun. And they’re about as world-changing as anoth­er vari­a­tion of beer pong. This is not big, rad­i­cal change.

Seeing Eternity in a Daffodil: Making Robots, Making Life

In this talk I want to sug­gest that it’s nev­er quite as sim­ple as to say there is tech­nol­o­gy and there is art. That there is tech­nol­o­gy and there is cul­ture. Clearly these things have always been in dia­logue and are still. So this means this is a sto­ry about art and tech­nol­o­gy.

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