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Watch > Episode > Dr Ben Goertzel - Artificial Intelligence & The Singularity: Will A.I. Destroy Life As We Know It?

Dr Ben Goertzel - Artificial Intelligence & The Singularity: Will A.I. Destroy Life As We Know It?


Cognitive Scientist, A.I. Researcher and CEO & Founder of SingularityNET

Technology is completely changing the way we live our lives, and the incredible brains behind such work carry an enormous responsibility to ensure that what they create leads to a more compassionate, cohesive and sustainable society.

This is why I’m really looking forward to welcoming back one of the most relevant and essential thinkers on the planet today, Dr Ben Goertzel. Ben is a cross-disciplinary scientist, futurist, author and entrepreneur, who has spent the best part of his working life focused on creating benevolent superhuman artificial general intelligence (AGI).

In fact, Ben has been credited with popularising the term AGI in our mainstream thinking and alongside this, he also explores the potentiality of natural language processing, cognitive science, data mining, machine learning, computational finance, bioinformatics, virtual worlds and gaming, with the mission to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) to areas like medicine, blockchain, robotics, media, finance, arts, music and much more.

He has published a dozen scientific books, 150 technical papers, and numerous journal articles, making him one of the world’s foremost experts in this rapidly expanding field.

However, Ben also concedes there are risks in building a machine that’s capable of learning anything and everything, including how to reprogram itself to become an order of magnitude more intelligent than any human.

“There’s a number of risks and dangers with AGI. One of them that’s gotten a lot of media attention is that AGI will run amok and annihilate humanity and take over the universe. It’s entirely possible; you can’t rule it out.”

But, Ben points out that a rather more likely scenario is the risk that selfish people will use AI to exert their own greed and control over other people. It’s a fascinating conundrum, and there is so much to consider, something that Ben has spent more time than most thinking about.

In 2017, Ben founded SingularityNet with the goal of creating a decentralised, democratic, inclusive and beneficial AGI which has become the world’s leading decentralised AI marketplace.

At SingularityNET, Ben’s goal is to create an AGI that is not dependent on any central entity, is open to anyone and not restricted to the narrow goals of a single corporation or even a single country.

The platform is an open and decentralised network of AI services made accessible through the blockchain where developers publish their services to the network, and can be used by anyone with an internet connection.

“Just like Bitcoin is decentralised money, SingularityNET aims to be decentralised AI processing power.”

Alongside all of this, Ben also serves as Chair of the futurist nonprofit Humanity+ and as Chief Scientist of the AI firms Singularity Studio, Rejuve, SingularityDAO and Xccelerando Media.

As Chief Scientist at Hanson Robotics, Ben led the software team behind the globally recognised Sophia robot and he was also the brains behind Sophia’s little sister Grace.

Ben truly believes that our focus should be on building AI systems that make the world a more compassionate, more just, and more sustainable place right now and moving forward in the future.

I can’t wait for this conversation, Ben has a brilliant mind and so much knowledge. He may also help us better understand what our future looks like, the impact of AGI, and how this technology will change our world, but it’s a topic that often raises more questions than answers.

“The idea that we can really know with any certainty or predict with any certainty whether a super AGI is going to bring love and benefit to humans and other sentient beings or is going to decide that we’re sort of inefficient in the use of mass energy. We just can’t know that. Any prediction we make has a very wide confidence interval and very small degree of certainty. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t act in a way that we estimate has the greatest possible benefit because what else can we do? Our own ignorance is profound.

Be sure to tune in as this is a conversation you don’t want to miss.

Download clips

A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!

  1. Will A.I. destroy humanity?
  2. Narrow A.I. vs A.G.I.
  3. Can ChatGPT evolve?
  4. I’m more scared of people than A.I.
  5. We’re leaping into the great unknown
  6. The A.G.I. needs to be trained without human greed
  7. We might see a human level A.I. sooner than we think
  8. A.G.I. will come as a side effect for big tech to make more money
  9. Half of jobs will be replaced by A.I.
  10. A new renaissance
  11. Big tech dominance is close to an end
  12. A new generation of tech companies will dethrone the old ones
  13. Is A.I. the perfect storm?
  14. There is more to A.I. than a language model
  15. A decentralized A.I.
  16. We’re on the verge of creating a utopia


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