PayPal founder discusses killer robots, artificial brains

This weekend Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, gave a talk listing seven world-ending scenarios — including global warming, hyperintelligent computers, and even malicious robots — and then provided the audience with his own greatest fear: that a technological Singularity won’t happen fast enough.

But the highlight of the “Singularity Summit” conference was probably a question directed to the neuroengineering director at Tecnalia (Europe’s third largest private research organization). “An audience member asked if Randal would give the emulated brains a choice about whether or not they wanted to participate in the experiments they had been created for!”

Itamar Arel from the University of Tennessee (and co-founder of the Artificial General Intelligence Roadmap initiative) described a two-pronged approach to bring about A.I. in years instead of decades.

And of course, Ray Kurzweil spoke — twice.

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