Blog Post #10 Relfection

I think the course flowed perfectly.  We were able to interact with one another, and everyone presented projects at the end of the semester that helped us really understand what it means to take an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex problems.

What I enjoyed the most was the classroom atmosphere and getting to hear opinions from a diverse group of students.  Learning about everyone and having a blog to interact on.  I don’t know that I would change a thing about the course.

The course was professionally presented and it was a welcoming atmosphere for everyone to discover what the BIS program is all about.  I think that all of my classmates would agree that we have a much better understanding of what taking an interdisciplinarian approach to a complex problem involves.  You may not be able to come to a conclusion on the answer, but you will come out with a better understanding of what you have been trying to find.

The only thing I think we could have spent more time on is getting to know one another.  Is there really ever enough time for that?  Students will always have a connection in some form with professors, but their peers seem to just vanish after class is completed.  So I would go with perhaps one more solo project of interest where a student just does a paper on interests or do a warmup interest paper assignment.

I enjoyed the semester immensely hence why I never missed a class.  I enjoyed every minute and learning about what it takes to work in an interdisciplinarian style.


Blog Post #9 Looking back at original thoughts

Going into the project my original ideas were not very clear.  I really didn’t think people cared about Artificial Intelligence and I would only find a few people even working on it.  Turns out, there are all kinds of different disciplines working on theories in AI and programs dealing with AI.  The matter is taken seriously and extreme caution is urged.  So much so, that a document has been signed by prominent people in the field to approach this coming technology with extreme sensitivity.

A lot of my original thoughts were reaffirmed.  Most believe that AI could vastly improve our society if done in an ethical way.  We could leap ahead in hundreds of years in progress with the invention of AI.

I was somewhat shocked to see that there are responsible people out there urging for responsible use of this possible technology. It just frightens me that a good majority of folks have no idea where the race to achieve AI sits currently.

When you really sit back and think about it, there is a lot of good AI technology out there that has been working for awhile.  You can play a computer in chess or card games on you computer.  Video games offer AI controlled opponents.  Your phone is now more than ever AI ready.  It can communicate with you and answer several different questions.  This technology is not far away.  The possibilities can be great, or they can be dire.

This is the thought that echoes through beliefs on AI.  The technology must be handled responsibly or it could result in the end of us all.

Blog Post #8 Resources and original opinion

The articles I found really did cohere with one another because of the complex issue at hand.  Many suggested the same caution should be taken in advancing in the field of AI.  All of the different fields I examined came to the same conclusion.

Allen Newel/ The Knowledge Level/ Computer Science/Psychology/ Intelligence and how  created intelligence might work

Christopher Grau/ There is No ‘I’ in “Robot”: Robots and Utilitarianism/ Philosophy/ Ethics in robotics and what happens when the data input is unethical

Nick Bostrom/ Ethical Issues in Advanced Intelligence/ Philosophy/ Superintelligence and how it will lead to an even greater superintelligence

Eliezer Yudkowsky/ Artificial Intelligence as a positive and negative factor in global risk/ American Bloger/ Upgrading Humanity and what it would mean for society

George Dvorsky/ Prominent Scientists Sign Letter of Warning about AI/ Bioethicist, Chair of the Board for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies/ Prominent names in the science community warn of the potential risks of AI

Blog #7 Research Data

Allen Newell – Computer Science The Knowledge Level

Oscar Firschein, Martin A, Fischler Lockheed Research Laboratory

L. Stephen Coles, Jay M. Tennebaum Stanford Research Institute  – Forecasting and Assessing The Impact Of Artificial Intelligence on Society

Christopher Grau, FIU There is No “I” in “Robot”: Robots and Utilitarianism

Nick Bostrom Ethical Issues In Advanced Artificial Intelligence

Eliezer Yudkowsky Artificial Intelligence as a positive and negative factor in global risk

Nick Bilton The New York Times Artificial Intelligence as a Threat

Nick Statt CNET Bill Gates is worried about artificial intelligence too

George Dvorsky Are We Overthinking the Dangers of Artificial Intelligence?

George Dvorsky Prominent Scientists Sign Letter of Warning About AI Risks

Robbie Gonzalez If We Ever Meet Aliens, They’ll Probably Be Robots

I also have an article featuring AI and law.  It discusses the idea of whether or not sentient robots should be given rights as people.

I am currently in the process of breaking down the articles I have to see what disciplines are relevant.

Blog Post #6 Relevant Topics for Research

The disciplines that stick out to me when posing the question: “What would Artificial Intelligence mean for society?”   are Philosophy, Sociology, Biology, Economics, Psychology, Political Science, and a few more possibly.

You have ideas out there that link Artificial Intelligence to the end of mankind.  There are some that say humans would no longer be needed in most workplace settings if AI were created.  Jobs could be lost.  Disease could be wiped out.  We could be wiped out.  Would sentient robots have their own laws?  What kind of rights might they be granted?  Who is programming the AI?  Is their intent good or bad?

There are so many questions and ideas about where AI could take us, but until we find out we can only speculate.  There should be a plethora of information out there concerning AI.  We have come a long way in creating sentient computers.  The day a machine can pass a Turing Test could be upon us soon.  It is a real possibility that this could be upon us in our lifetimes.  This could extend our life to possible immortality.  The implications of AI could mean many different things for society in the future.  We are merely scratching the surface so far, but in the very near future this could be something that we could come face to face with.

AI is already being slowly implemented into our lives.  Some of us have played video games throughout our childhood.  These games exhibit AI, as the consoles progressed, so did the AI.  Our phones now exhibit AI.  You can literally ask your phone for directions.

The smartest super computer in the world, Watson, has destroyed Jeopardy champions and is now being introduced to the medical field to help find cures for disease and do massive amounts of research on human conditions.

There should be all kinds of information from different disciplines concerning this complex issue.

Blog Post #5 Research Topic : A.I.

The final topic I chose was Artificial Intelligence.  I have yet to really hammer down a question, but I am considering the question(s):  How close are we to a sentient A.I. and what would A.I. mean for society?  This idea has been discussed on several platforms.  The first that comes to mind is the depiction of A.I. in movies.  Before I was even born A.I. had a prominent role in movies.  In 1968 Stanley Kubrick directed 2001: A Space Odyssey.  This film is critically acclaimed and in 2010 was named the greatest movie of ALL-TIME by  The Moving Arts Film Journal.

The film features a crew on a mission with a sentient machine.  It becomes a man vs. machine movie in its final acts.  This man vs. machine concept has been portrayed in countless classics.  Another film that comes to mind is Ridley Scott’s ALIEN.  In 1979 Scott directed this ultimate Sci-fi horror classic that features a crew on a journey into space that encounter ‘the perfect organism’.  What we find out late in the movie is that one of the crew members is a sentient droid that has deemed the crew expendable due to its mission.

There are films where sentient robots are NOT viewed as the villains.  Recently released Interstellar had sentient robots that aided in man’s attempt to reach beyond our own universe.  The film is a throwback to 2001, but you must watch it in order to understand how this was achieved.

The feedback I received on my topic was great.  It seemed like people were genuinely interested in the topic and that’s the type of response I was hoping to get.  Now, it is all about creating a memorable piece for the class to consume.

I’m not quite sure what I believe I know about A.I.  I assume that we are getting closer to creating a sentient being through A.I.  I have read numerous articles on A.I., I visit a blog dedicated to Sci-fi thought called  It is a sister site to which I love to read.  I recently read something and thought it would be good to bookmark for this research project.  There are numerous stories on io9 that deal with the creation of A.I. and just how far along we are in creating a sentient being.  The idea of this is mind blowing, and recently Stephen Hawking discussed this with John Oliver on Last Week Tonight and I plan to use that interview in my presentation because the interview is so amazing.

When I think of things like the NSA and their capabilities to monitor people at anytime, or Edward Snowden explaining how he could turn your phone on without you ever knowing make me believe that we are a lot further along with A.I. than we might be willing to share with the public.

I believe that the creation of A.I. could transform humanity in a positive way.  It could allow us to focus on REAL ideas and problems.  Problems like, where does human consciousness come from?  What is out beyond our solar system?  There must be life outside of our universe, what does it look like?

Stephen Hawking once said that if humans ever encounter an alien race, that the race will probably be robots.  This seems logical to me because anyone with the technology to reach beyond the stars probably has the tech to create sentient beings to travel through space and time.

I have read about A.I. in creating new limbs for people that have lost a limb.  The technology is becoming greater and greater, and I do believe that at some point in my lifetime we will achieve A.I.  Whether or not that will be our LAST defining achievement, we won’t know.  This idea of A.I. being detrimental to society is the idea that I wish to tackle in my research topic.

Blog #4 Broad Model and Topic Choice

The Broad Model of Interdisciplinary studies involves first uncovering a problem and question to be raised about said problem.  The second step of the broad model revolves around figuring out whether an Interdisciplinary approach can be used to attack the topic.

This second step rolls into the third step which is figuring out whether or not your problem has more than one discipline concerning your topic.  The next step of the broad model deals with research.  This is where you find out what the disciplines have to say about your problem/topic.

I was sitting in class not knowing what I wanted to cover for my research project when the idea of Artificial Intelligence came to mind.  This was spawned by my interest in this topic, and the showing of a clip from John Oliver’s show on HBO.  I have watched every topic Oliver has tackled and in one of his earlier shows, he introduced a segment about smart people and stuff they say.  Anyhow, Stephen Hawking, whom I believe to be one of the smartest humans on the planet discussed Artificial Intelligence and the dangers we could face in the coming future.  It was one of the best interviews I have ever seen with Hawking. The story Hawking told about a super computer coming to life was incredibly terrifying.

This idea has been portrayed in multiple big budget movies.  I love the idea of A.I. and think it could be the single greatest achievement of mankind.  I really believe it will happen within our lifetime as well, so this topic is extremely important and fascinating to me and the reason I chose to write about it.