Tag Archives: science

What has feelings?

Why would an AI system want to convince its user of its sentience? Or, to put it more carefully, why would this contribute to its objectives? It’s tempting to think: only a system that really was sentient could have this goal. In fact, there are many objectives an AI system might have that could be well served by persuading users of its sentience, even if it were not sentient. Suppose its overall objective is to maximise user-satisfaction scores. And suppose it learns that users who believe their systems are sentient, and a source of companionship, tend to be more highly satisfied.


Introducing the AI Mirror Test, which very smart people keep failing

AI chatbots like Bing and ChatGPT are entrancing users, but they’re just autocomplete systems trained on our own stories about superintelligent AI. That makes them software — not sentient.

The mirror is the latest breed of AI chatbots, of which Microsoft’s Bing is the most prominent example. The reflection is humanity’s wealth of language and writing, which has been strained into these models and is now reflected back to us. We’re convinced these tools might be the superintelligent machines from our stories because, in part, they’re trained on those same tales. Knowing this, we should be able to recognize ourselves in our new machine mirrors, but instead, it seems like more than a few people are convinced they’ve spotted another form of life. 


These tree-planting drones are firing seed missiles to restore the world’s forests

The drones first fly over an area to map it, collecting data about the topography and soil condition that can be combined with satellite data and analyzed to determine the best locations to plant each seed. Then the drone fires biodegradable pods—filled with a germinated seed and nutrients—into the ground.