Artificial Intelligence and the Virtual/IRL Divide

“I’ve had a consistent date of 2029 for that vision [of AI being conscious]. And that doesn’t just mean logical intelligence. It means emotional intelligence, being funny, getting the joke, being sexy, being loving, understanding human emotion. That’s actually the most complex thing we do. That is what separates computers and humans today. I believe that gap will close by 2029.” —Ray Kurzweil, in an interview on joining Google’s AI research team What happens when bots are created with human likeness in mind? By now, most of us are familiar with Tay, Microsoft’s experimental natural language bot which debuted on Twitter, Kik, and GroupMe last month. Microsoft hoped Tay would gain “conversational understanding”: the more you chatted with it, the smarter it would get, learning to engage people through “casual…

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