Selfishness, Interdependence & the Algorithmic Execution of Entity-Derived Intentions & Priorities

Presentation Powerpoint presented May 27, 2014 at the Second Annual Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy & Ethics (Scottsdale, Arizona)

It’s the ultimate nightmare scenario . . . an innocent mistake is made, misinterpreted by the other side, and the ensuing escalation – easily avoided by trust, communication or even sufficient knowledge of the other – instead leads to Armageddon. It’s a storyline that is so universal that it is the plot-line for just as many romantic comedies as action-packed thrillers. Him vs. her, us vs. them, our need to remain comfortable and in control incorrectly supersedes our true goal of having things turn out for the best. Continue reading

Machine Execution of Human Intentions

Presentation PDF * Presentation Powerpoint presented May 20, 2014 at the AFCEA – GMU C4I Center Symposium: Critical Issues in C4I (George Mason University)

As military machines become ever more intelligent and more autonomous, the second order properties of man-machine coordination are going to become increasingly important. There have already been numerous expensive accidents due to the lack of communications of “intentions” from machine to man – and the ability of machines to process human intentions is getting closer to becoming reality. Further, machines need to become much better at recognizing and communicating anomalies if they are to avoid becoming vulnerable to both tragic accidents and intentional misdirection and “spoofing.” As battle is conducted at an ever-increasing pace in an increasingly complex environment, the interface and coordination of control between machine and man needs to evolve to take advantage of the strengths and support the weaknesses of each in order to maintain the edge and the safety that we need to be able to expect.

The Role of Metacognition in Creating Safe, Self-Improving Entities

Presentation Powerpoint presented May 9, 2014 at the University of Maryland Metacognition Seminar (College Park, MD)

Every AI system to date clearly demonstrates what Daniel Dennett calls “competence without comprehension”. While they might perform at super-human levels on specific well-bounded tasks, they are hopelessly brittle in the face of unexpected changes or anomalies. Previously, I, along with many others, have blamed “derived intentionality” for this state of affairs. In this talk, however, I will argue instead that it is “merely” a total lack of metacognition that is the sole (and traversable) hurdle which must be overcome in order to create artificial general intelligence (AGI). With the correct senses, tools and motivations, it should be possible to build a rudimentary metacognitive system that should not only dramatically ease the creation, maintenance and upgrading of current intelligent systems but pave the way for future intelligent software entities as well.