"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus by nautilusmag
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"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus by nautilusmag
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"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus Art Print

"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus Art Print
"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus Art Print
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"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus Art Print
"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus Art Print
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"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus by
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  • Gallery quality Giclée print
  • Natural white, matte, ultra smooth background
  • 100% cotton, acid and lignin-free archival paper
  • Epson K3 archival inks for high-quality print
  • Custom trimmed with 1” border for framing
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About this artwork

Illustration by Sachin Teng

When it comes to artificial intelligence, we may all be suffering from the fallacy of availability: thinking that creating intelligence is much easier than it is, because we see examples all around us. In a recent poll, machine intelligence experts predicted that computers would gain human-level ability around the year 2050, and superhuman ability less than 30 years after. But, like a tribe on a tropical island littered with World War II debris imagining that the manufacture of aluminum propellers or steel casings would be within their power, our confidence is probably inflated.

AI can be thought of as a search problem over an effectively infinite, high-dimensional landscape of possible programs. Nature solved this search problem by brute force, effectively performing a huge computation involving trillions of evolving agents of varying information processing capability in a complex environment (the Earth). It took billions of years to go from the first tiny DNA replicators to Homo Sapiens. What evolution accomplished required tremendous resources. While silicon-based technologies are increasingly capable of simulating a mammalian or even human brain, we have little idea of how to find the tiny subset of all possible programs running on this hardware that would exhibit intelligent behavior.

But there is hope. By 2050, there will be another rapidly evolving and advancing intelligence besides that of machines: our own. The cost to sequence a human genome has fallen below $1,000, and powerful methods have been developed to unravel the genetic architecture of complex traits such as human cognitive ability. Technologies already exist which allow genomic selection of embryos during in vitro fertilization—an embryo’s DNA can be sequenced from a single extracted cell. Recent advances such as CRISPR allow highly targeted editing of genomes, and will eventually find their uses in human reproduction.

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"Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them" by Sachin Teng for Nautilus
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