Would a consultant by any other name smell so sweet?

Consulting, as a profession, is in my humble opinion an extremely honorable pursuit that can bring tremendous value to the purchasers of consulting services. But that’s only when applying a very narrow definition of the “consulting.” What is that definition? A true consultant is an independent professional that through the application of their unique knowledge, … Continue reading Would a consultant by any other name smell so sweet?

“Once in a while you get shone the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right”

The brilliant and always insightful Valeria Maltoni recently wrote a blog post at her site Conversation Agent about the importance of “Engaging Multiple Perspectives to Expand Opportunities.” She opens with the following:

It happens in every industry, business, and (if we’re not careful) community—it becomes homogeneous over time. We gravitate toward people like us, and our conversations and worldviews start reflecting those of others. This reinforces a cultural phenomenon that goes by the name of bandwagon effect.
Continue reading ““Once in a while you get shone the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right””

Nobody ever says, “I want to be a Philosopher when I grow up”

Over at Quartz, Olivia Goldhill is reporting on a major grant for some interesting philosophical research. Candace Vogler and Jennifer Frey are leading a multi-disciplinary study on the difficulty some people experience of “getting over themselves” on one level, but on another level, it seems the pair has received a grant to ultimately try to … Continue reading Nobody ever says, “I want to be a Philosopher when I grow up”

“Existential” Risk Management for Artificial Intelligence (or just a little too much navel gazing?)

One of the great themes in science fiction is the fear that the machines we humans have created will someday lead to our own enslavement or even extinction. As research into artificial intelligence (AI) exploded following Turing’s breakthroughs, the concept of self-awareness in non-organic manmade objects elicited a sort of existential dread.

Update: See below for yet another take on the existentialist implications of future AI developments…

If advanced reasoning, self-awareness and abstract thought are considered to be primary distinctions between the cognitive abilities of humans and animals, what would it mean if our machines attained similar function? In my mind, this mental exploration is similar to what the existential impact of receiving clear and unambiguous evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. Continue reading ““Existential” Risk Management for Artificial Intelligence (or just a little too much navel gazing?)”