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Curated Content

August 16, 2018 Curated Content: Despite Pledging Openness, Companies Rush to Patent AI Tech

“Despite Pledging Openness, Companies Rush to Patent AI Tech,” Tom Simonite, Wired, July 31, 2018.

Simonite documents that the tech giants, while professing a commitment to AI openness, are increasingly pursuing patents on their AI technologies.


“Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not,” Joi Ito, Wired, July 30, 2018.

Japanese Shinto believe there are spirits in everything, according to Ito, and therefore see much less of a distinction between humans and robots than do Westerners. Ito also believes that the history of industrial-scale slavery in the West predisposes Westerners to worry about an underclass — robots — revolting against their human overlords.


“Facial recognition technology: The need for public regulation and corporate responsibility,” Brad Smith, The Official Microsoft Blog, July 13, 2018.

Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, highlights the dangers that facial recognition technology poses to fundamental human freedoms, calls for governmental study and regulation, and commits the company to a cautious, go-slow approach in the interim.


“We’re Worrying About the Wrong Kind of AI,” Mark Buchanan, Bloomberg, June 10, 2018.

Buchanan discusses the rapid progress of growing brain tissue (organoids) in laboratories and raises ethical questions about the (coming) possibility that such organoids may evidence signs of distress, or exhibit consciousness.


“It’s Westworld. What’s Wrong with Cruelty to Robots?,” Paul Bloom and Sam Harris, New York Times, April 23, 2018.

Bloom, professor of psychology at Yale, and Harris, a neuroscientist, discuss the human-robot ethical questions raised by the TV show, Westworld — including whether it is unethical to intentionally harm a robot that appears to be human and conscious, even if we know it is neither.

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