Let’s not accidentally build depressed robots

In trying to keep up with the never-ending deluge of news about the forthcoming AI takeover of human society, a talk at a recent conference made me pause. For a moment, instead of having to consider whether the intelligent robots would liberate us or kill us (it’s only ever one of those two options, I find), I took a moment to worry about the machines themselves. The conference, a meeting of computer scientists and neuroscientists at New York University, was called “Canonical Computation in Brains and Machines.” Zachary Mainen, a neuroscientist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, came on…

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