On the road to a future which promises steady advances in artificial intelligence, what should we expect? What should we be wary of, or hopeful about?
Our guide this week for those questions is Blaise Agüera y Arcas, a software designer currently working on machine intelligence for Google. In his previous work as an engineer at Microsoft his focus included augmented reality, Bing Maps and Bing Mobile, wearable computing and natural user interfaces. As you’ll hear, Agüera y Arcas is insightful and philosophical about the cross sections of science and human culture in our past and future.
And interestingly enough, he’s the inspiration for a fictional character. Seattle writer Maria Semple said the character Elgin in her novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?,” is based on Agüera y Arcas.
Agüera y Arcas spoke on July 26 as a participant in the sixth annual Smoke Farm Symposium near Arlington, Wash. The event brings together an eclectic group of thinkers, activists and artists for a weekend of presentations, discussions and community building. The talks take place in an open-air barn on the 365-acre farm and the weekend ends with discussion over a communal dinner by a notable Seattle chef.
Thanks to Smoke Farm, the Rubicon Foundation, Brendan Kiley and Jason Evans for this recording.