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Brian Cantwell Smith (University of Toronto)

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Abstract: So-called “second-wave” Artificial Intelligence, involving deep learning and other forms of machine learning, has attracted enormous public attention.  To formulate a sane estimate of its prospects, setting aside both the triumphalists and the doomsayers, requires a broad understanding of intelligence in terms of which to assess: (i) what kinds of intelligence machines currently have, and will likely have in the future; and (ii) what kinds people have, and may be capable of in the future.

As a step in this direction, I distinguish two kinds of intelligence: (i) “reckoning,” the kind of calculative rationality that computers excel at, including both first- and second-wave AI; and (ii) “judgment,” a form of dispassionate, deliberative thought, grounded in ethical commitment and responsible action, appropriate and accountable to the situation in which it is deployed.  AI will develop world-changing reckoning systems, I argue, but nothing in AI as currently conceived even approaches what is required to build a system capable of judgment.

Speaker Bio: Brian Cantwell Smith is Reid Hoffman Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Human, as well as being Professor of Information, Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College.

Smith holds BS, MS and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). From 1981 to 1996 he was a Principal Scientist at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. He was a founder of the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University (CSLI), a founder and first President of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), and President (1998-99) of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP). From 1996 to 2001 he was Professor of Cognitive Science, Computer Science, and Philosophy at Indiana University, and from 2001 to 2003 was Kimberly J. Jenkins University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and New Technologies and professor in the departments of Philosophy and Computer Science at Duke University.

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Melanie Mitchell

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