10 January 2022

Reith Lectures on AI

Thoroughly enjoyed Stuart Russell's Reith Lectures on AI. He just seemed to keep mentioning bits related to what we've done in various projects! 

In particular I liked this exchange from the first episode (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001216j) which touched on the approach we've been taking with our Reflexive Agent and our consideration of Wisdom and AI in our DASA/Royal Navy Intelligent Ship project.

"ROLY KEATING: Roly Keating from British Library. It’s wonderful to have

you here. Thank you for the lecture. I was interested in the language and

vocabulary of human intellectual life that seems to run around AI, and I’m

hearing data gathering, pattern recognition, knowledge, even problem solving,

but I think an earlier question used the word “wisdom,” which I’ve not heard so

much around this debate, and I suppose I’m trying to get a sense of where you

feel that fits into the equation. Is AI going to help us as a species gradually

become wiser or is wisdom exactly the thing that we have to keep a monopoly

on? Is that a purely human characteristic, do you think?

STUART RUSSELL: Or the third possibility would be that AI helps us

achieve wisdom without actually acquiring wisdom of its own, and I think, for

example, my children have helped me acquire wisdom without necessarily having

wisdom of their own. They certainly help me achieve humility. So, AI could help,

actually, by asking the questions, right, because in some ways AI needs us to be

explicit about what we think the future should be, that just the process of that

interrogation could bring some wisdom to us."

Spot on!