David Brin is a scientist, tech speaker/consultant, and author. His new novel about our survival in the near future is Existence. A film by Kevin Costner was based on The Postman. His 16 novels, including NY Times Bestsellers and Hugo Award winners, have been translated into more than twenty languages. Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and the world wide web. Dr. Brin serves on the external advisory board of NASA’s Innovative and Advanced Concepts program (NIAC). David appears frequently on shows such as Nova and The Universe and Life After People, speaking about science and future trends. He has keynoted scores of major events hosted by the likes of IBM, GE, Google and the Institute for Ethics in Emerging Technologies. His non-fiction book — The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? — won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. (Website: http://www.davidbrin.com/ )
Those fretfully debating artificial intelligence (AI) might start by appraising the half dozen general pathways under exploration in laboratories around the world. These general approaches offer distinct implications for what characteristics emerging, synthetic minds might display, including (for example) whether it will be easy or hard to instill human-style ethical values. The “Moore’s Law crossing” argument is appraised, in light of discoveries that brain computation may involve much more than just synapses. Will efforts to develop Sympathetic Robotics tweak compassion from humans long before automatons are truly self-aware? It is argued that most foreseeable problems might be dealt with the same way that human versions of oppression and error are best addressed – via reciprocal accountability. For this to happen, there should be diversity of types, designs and minds, interacting under fair competition in a generally open environment.