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This is where skeptics such as Brooks, a founder of iRobot and Rethink Robotics, come in. Even if it’s impressive—relative to what earlier computers could manage—for a computer to recognize a picture of a cat, the machine has no volition, no sense of what cat-ness is or what else is happening in the picture, and none of the countless other insights that humans have. In this view, AI could possibly lead to intelligent machines, but it would take much more work than people like Bostrom imagine. And even if it could happen, intelligence will not necessarily lead to sentience. Extrapolating from the state of AI today to suggest that superintelligence is looming is “comparable to seeing more efficient internal combustion engines appearing and jumping to the conclusion that warp drives are just around the corner,” Brooks wrote recently on http://Edge.org. “Malevolent AI” is nothing to worry about, he says, for a few hundred years at least.


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