PODCAST

Yan Li shares lessons learned from using technology for good around the world

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Editor’s note: This episode is part of our podcast series on emerging problems in data science and machine learning, hosted by Jeremie Harris. Apart from hosting the podcast, Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds.

We’ve recorded quite a few podcasts recently about the problems AI does and may create, now and in the future. We’ve talked about AI safety, alignment, bias and fairness.

These are important topics, and we’ll continue to discuss them, but I also think it’s important not to lose sight of the value that AI and…


PODCAST

Ryan Carey on the quest to understand the incentives of AI systems

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Editor’s note: This episode is part of our podcast series on emerging problems in data science and machine learning, hosted by Jeremie Harris. Apart from hosting the podcast, Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds.

AI safety researchers are increasingly focused on understanding what AI systems want. That may sound like an odd thing to care about: after all, aren’t we just programming AIs to want certain things by providing them with a loss function, or a number to optimize?

Well, not necessarily. It turns out that AI systems can…


PODCAST

Melanie Mitchell on the reasons why superhuman AI might not be around the corner

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Editor’s note: This episode is part of our podcast series on emerging problems in data science and machine learning, hosted by Jeremie Harris. Apart from hosting the podcast, Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds.

As AI systems have become more powerful, an increasing number of people have been raising the alarm about its potential long-term risks. As we’ve covered on the podcast before, many now argue that those risks could even extend to the annihilation of our species by superhuman AI systems that are slightly misaligned with human values.


PODCAST

Josh Fairfield on regulating intelligence and emerging technologies

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Editor’s note: This episode is part of our podcast series on emerging problems in data science and machine learning, hosted by Jeremie Harris. Apart from hosting the podcast, Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds.

Powered by Moore’s law, and a cluster of related trends, technology has been improving at an exponential pace across many sectors. AI capabilities in particular have been growing at a dizzying pace, and it seems like every year brings us new breakthroughs that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago.


PODCAST

Stuart Armstrong on humanity’s far future and how things might go amazingly well (or terribly badly)

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Paradoxically, it may be easier to predict the far future of humanity than to predict our near future.

The next fad, the next Netflix special, the next President — all are nearly impossible to anticipate. That’s because they depend on so many trivial factors: the next fad could be triggered by a viral video someone filmed on a whim, and well, the same could be true of the next Netflix special or President for that matter.

But when it comes to predicting the far future of humanity, we might oddly be on more…


PODCAST

Georg Northoff explains how a good theory of consciousness could lead to better AI

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For the past decade, progress in AI has mostly been driven by deep learning — a field of research that draws inspiration directly from the structure and function of the human brain. By drawing an analogy between brains and computers, we’ve been able to build computer vision, natural language and other predictive systems that would have been inconceivable just ten years ago.

But analogies work two ways. Now that we have self-driving cars and AI systems that regularly outperform humans at increasingly complex tasks, some are wondering whether reversing the usual approach —…


Podcast

Ethan Perez explains how AI debate could get us to superintelligence — safely

To select chapters, visit the Youtube video here.

Editor’s note: This episode is part of our podcast series on emerging problems in data science and machine learning, hosted by Jeremie Harris. Apart from hosting the podcast, Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds. You can listen to the podcast below:

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Most AI researchers are confident that we will one day create superintelligent systems — machines that can significantly outperform humans across a wide variety of tasks.

If this ends up happening, it will pose some potentially serious problems. Specifically: if…


Podcast

David Roodman on what happens when AI pushes us off the edge of the map

To select chapters, visit the Youtube video here.

Editor’s note: This episode is part of our podcast series on emerging problems in data science and machine learning, hosted by Jeremie Harris. Apart from hosting the podcast, Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds. You can listen to the podcast below:

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There’s a minor mystery in economics that may suggest that things are about to get really, really weird for humanity.

And that mystery is this: many economic models predict that, at some point, human economic output will become infinite.

Now…


Office Hours

The story of the job hunt, as told by actual data

Avoid “when will I hear back” anxiety, and save yourself an awkward visit to the dentist — Photo courtesy of Unsplash

One of the biggest problems with the job search process is a lack of actionable data.

Without data, job seekers are left in the dark about where they stand. Is my resume terrible, or is it just this rare to hear back? Should I have landed a job offer by now, or is my experience normal for this job market? Is this offer reasonable, or should I negotiate? More generally: is my experience typical, or am I doing something wrong?

The longer someone goes without answers to these questions, the more self-doubt sets in.

I’ve seen some of the most…


PODCAST

Margot Gerritsen on the TDS podcast

Editor’s note: This episode is part of our podcast series on emerging problems in data science and machine learning, hosted by Jeremie Harris. Apart from hosting the podcast, Jeremie helps run a data science mentorship startup called SharpestMinds. You can listen to the podcast below:

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As AI systems have become more ubiquitous, people have begun to pay more attention to their ethical implications. Those implications are potentially enormous: Google’s search algorithm and Twitter’s recommendation system each have the ability to meaningfully sway public opinion on just about any issue. …

Jeremie Harris

Co-founder of SharpestMinds, host of the Towards Data Science podcast. ⚛︎ Physics | 🤖 Machine learning | 🤔 Philosophy | 🚀 Startups.

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