Mar 25, 2020
Welcome back! Our guest today is Marta Halina, a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.
Marta’s current focus is the philosophy of artificial intelligence. We discuss what philosophers can contribute to AI. We talk about AlphaGo and its stunning defeat of one of the world’s most celebrated Go champions. We puzzle over whether artificial minds can think creatively. (We also touch briefly on a project that Marta has been involved in called the Animal AI Olympics. Consider this part of our conversation a teaser—our next ‘mini’ episode is going to take a longer look at this initiative.)
Marta brings a distinctive perspective to all these issues. As you’ll hear, she’s worked on great ape minds as well as artificial minds, and she’s run scientific experiments in addition to her philosophical work.
As always, thanks for listening—we hope you enjoy the conversation.
A transcript of this interview can be found here.
Notes and links
10:25 – AlphaGo’s victory against Go master Lee Sedol.
12:00 – More about Go.
15:57 – Lee Sedol announces his retirement.
17:00 – An article by Marta Halina and colleagues describing the Animal AI Olympics. (Stay tuned for our upcoming “mini” episode about this!)
23:05 – Demis Hassabis is the CEO and co-founder of DeepMind. You can listen to an interview with him here.
26:45 – On the idea that creative ideas are new, surprising, and valuable, see this collection of essays.
28:45 – A blogpost on DeepMind’s system AlphaFold, part of its effort to develop AIs that support scientific discovery.
38:54 – A paper by Henry Shevlin and Marta Halina in which they argue that, in the context of AI, “rich psychological terms” ought to be used with care.
46:15 – The mission statement of the Society for the Philosophy of Science in Practice.
Dr. Halina’s end-of-show recommendations:
What is This Thing Called Science? (1976), by Alan Chalmers
The Meaning of Science (2016), by Tim Lewens
Kinds of Minds (2008), by Daniel Dennett
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Artificial Intelligence
The best ways to keep up with Dr. Halina’s research:
Many Minds is a project of the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI) (https://www.diverseintelligencessummer.com/), which is made possible by a generous grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation to UCLA. It is hosted by Kensy Cooperrider, with creative support from DISI Directors Erica Cartmill and Jacob Foster, and Associate Director Hilda Loury. Our artwork is by Ben Oldroyd (https://www.mayhilldesigns.co.uk/). Our transcripts are created by Sarah Dopierala (https://sarahdopierala.wordpress.com/).
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