Modern Cosmism Conference

Ben Goertzel


 What will the advent of advanced AI and robotics mean for humanity?


In recent years, as practical technological progress has made AI more palpable for the common person, public commentary on AI has tended to focus on the potential for AIs and robots to take over human jobs, and even the potential of artificial superintelligences to exterminate humanity.

But these worries, while understandable, understate the potential transformative impact of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) technology, and also distract attention from the positive potential AGI has for alleviating human suffering and increasing human joy.

From a Cosmist view, the engineering of systems with transhuman intelligence is the next natural step in the evolution of intelligence on the planet Earth.   The relation between humans and AGIs is unlikely to be mainly one of "us versus them"; rather, humans will fuse with AGIs via brain-computer interfacing and other means.

The potential for humans to become new kinds of minds via means of AGI and other technologies, will bring amazing new possibilities for joy, growth and choice.   The advent of AGI will bring us in contact with multiple aspects of the Cosmos that we cannot now effectively perceive due to the limitations of our current human minds.   These are possibilities that should be embraced and welcomed rather than primarily feared.

In this talk I will connect these general philosophical issues regarding the Cosmist view of AGI, with current work on AI and robotics occurring in my own OpenCog AGI project and in other projects around the world.  We are privileged to live at a time and place where we can take part in the unfolding of such dramatic positive transitions.








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