Don’t fear AI, fear power-hungry humans

Don’t fear AI, fear power-hungry humans

Story by Big Think

We live in strange times, when the technology we depend on the most is also that which we fear the most. We celebrate cutting-edge achievements even as we recoil in fear at how they could be used to hurt us. From genetic engineering and AI to nuclear technology and nanobots, the list of awe-inspiring, fast-developing technologies is long.

However, this fear of the machine is not as new as it may seem. Technology has a longstanding alliance with power and the state. The dark side of human history can be told as a series of wars whose victors are often those with the most advanced technology. (There are exceptions, of course.) Science, and its technological offspring, follows the money.

This fear of the machine seems to be misplaced. The machine has no intent: only its maker does. The fear of the machine is, in essence, the fear we have of each other — of what we are capable of doing to one another.

Keep ReadingKeep Reading
Marcelo Gleiser
Marcelo Gleiser is a professor of natural philosophy, physics, and astronomy at Dartmouth College. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House and NSF, and was awarded the 2019 Templeton Prize. Gleiser has authored five books and is the co-founder of 13.8, where he writes about science and culture with physicist Adam Frank.
person using an apple watch
Luke Chesser - Unsplash

Today’s podcast guest is Rosalind Picard, a researcher, inventor named on over 100 patents, entrepreneur, author, professor and engineer. When it comes to the science related to endowing computer software with emotional intelligence, she wrote the book. It’s published by MIT Press and called Affective Computing.

Dr. Picard is founder and director of the MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing Research Group. Her research and engineering contributions have been recognized internationally. For example, she received the 2022 International Lombardy Prize for Computer Science Research, considered by many to be the Nobel prize in computer science.

Keep ReadingKeep Reading
Matt Fuchs
Matt Fuchs is the host of the Making Sense of Science podcast and served previously as the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He writes as a contributor to the Washington Post, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Nautilus Magazine, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine. Follow him @fuchswriter.
Hidden figures: Five black women that changed science forever

Dr. May Edward Chinn, Kizzmekia Corbett, PhD., and Alice Ball, among others, have been behind some of the most important scientific work of the last century.


Keep ReadingKeep Reading
Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.