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The Terminator will win: True or False?

James Barrat

For over 30 years, indestructible cyborgs from the future have been waging war against humans—in a little franchise of movies you may have heard of: The Terminator.

While the fifth installment of the action film is still a few months away from hitting the big screen, the conversations about the opportunities and ethical challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI) are very real and here right now.

On Monday, March 2, James Barrat will be on campus to explore these issues. Recently tapped by Time, along with Steven Hawking and Tesla-maker Elon Musk, as “Five Very Smart People Who Think Artificial Intelligence Could Bring the Apocalypse,” Barrat is the author of Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.

View Event Details

Artificial Intelligence: Promise, Ethics, and Peril is the inaugural event for the School of Business’ new Center for Innovation and Ethics under the direction of Associate Professor Kevin H. Michels.

Emily W. Dodd ’03


Test yourself against James Barrat’s book, Our Final Invention

  1. AGI, or artificial general intelligence (read: human-level intelligence), will exist by the end of the century.  T or F
  1. AGI is unlikely to have an impact on the world economy. T or F
  1. Technological Singularity is a term that refers to the time when humans and machines with smarter-than-human intelligence share the planet. T or F
  1. “Friendly AI” refers to smiley, Mr. Rogers-esque robots. T or F
  1. AGI may be able to improve its intelligence to become superintelligent, or ASI (an intelligence greater than human intelligence) in weeks, days, or even hours.  T or F

  1. True. Scientists believe there’s a 90 percent chance that AGI will exist by 2100. More than 50 percent believe it will exist by 2050.
  2. False. Barrat says that “the arrival of human-level intelligent systems would have stunning implications for the world economy. AGI makers will receive immense investment capital to complete and commercialize the economy.”
  3. True. Author and math professor Vernor Vinge coined this phrase in 1993.
  4. False. It’s the term for the type of AI that will preserve humanity and human values forever, rather than try to annihilate it, Skynet style.
  5. True. Some researchers believe computing power will make this possible, though another group, the gradualists, believe ASI may take years or decades.