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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Maureen Dowd, "Silicon Valley Sharknado": Are You Afraid of AI?

Maureen Dowd begins her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Silicon Valley Sharknado" ( by whimsically observing, "Mostly, this July, I’m worrying about the jumping sharks jumping the shark." Dowd then segues into a discussion of her angst involving "rampaging robots." Dowd writes:

"In a recent interview with CNBC, Elon Musk, the C.E.O. of Tesla Motors and Space X, which hopes to rocket us to other planets, said he invests in artificial intelligence companies not to make money but to 'keep an eye' on them in case of 'scary outcomes,' like a 'Terminator' scenario of psychopathic robots that could chase us off the Earth and up to Mars.

. . . .

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s 66-year-old director of engineering, is running a Manhattan project to push A.I. to match human intelligence by 2029 and achieve his vision of 'the singularity' — the moment when computers overtake human brains — by 2045. The robots will even be able to flirt, he says, and, unlike Siri and Scarlett Johansson in 'Her,' they can easily have a curvy virtual form and be 'lovable.'"

Artificial intelligence? How wonderful that Maureen has something to worry about. Me? Last night, warning sirens began to blare in my neighborhood after Hamas launched a Syrian-made 302-mm Khaibar-1 missile at Hadera.

But seriously, what about AI? Quite honestly, I am willing to forgo driving in traffic jams and be whisked by a robot from destination to destination. Or, could it be that I will have no more meetings to attend?

No more meetings to attend? No problemo. I can busy myself planting tomatoes in my backyard, or, will my tomatoes also be sown by a machine?

Of course, there's always my blog! Thank goodness for that! I can still rise every morning before dawn and type a few words, unless of course, a computer can digest all of the world's news and mimic my thought processes.

Worried. Not really. You see, there are still all those millions of jihadists intent on freezing our thought processes in the seventh century, and my bet is that they will ultimately get the better of the machines. But not these jihadists, who attempted to attack Israel from the sea yesterday (this is real footage, not Hollywood):

1 comment:

  1. Also, with respect to the video -- wow, one almost feels sorry for them -- I mean it seemed like the IDF had multiple ways of killing them and was trying out each one! :-) Machine gun, rocket/mortar, drone-missile... They never stood a chance.

    I don't understand the one frame of the two men firing -- was that the terrorists? I am guessing it was. But why they stood there in an open field a very long way from anything firing rifles is beyond me. And then one of the guy's rifles jammed (it seemed)! talk about nothing going right that day for them.