An MIT Alumni Association Publication

The Implications of Second-Wave AI and Deep Learning

  • Nicole Estvanik Taylor
  • Slice of MIT

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Most accounts of deep learning and related technologies focus on system architecture and behavior. Brian Cantwell Smith ’74, SM ’78, PhD ’82 believes the successes of these systems also shed light on the underlying nature of the world. In this recording of an MIT Alumni Association Faculty Forum Online webinar, Smith examines the history and implications of second-wave artificial intelligence. He also answers audience questions on topics including the impact of quantum computing on deep learning, and what a third wave of AI might look like.

Philosophy, along with technology, plays a key role in Smith’s work. He is the Reid Hoffman Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Human and professor of information, philosophy, cognitive science, and the history and philosophy of science and technology at the University of Toronto, where he has been on the faculty since 2003. Among his many credits, he is a founder and the first president of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and a past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

Smith is the author of a new book released in October 2019 titled The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment. According to its publisher, the MIT Press, the book “presents an argument that—despite dramatic advances in the field—artificial intelligence is nowhere near developing systems that are genuinely intelligent” and “unpacks the notion of intelligence itself—what sort humans have, and what sort AI aims at.”

The webinar was moderated by science and technology writer Rod McCullom, an MIT 2015–16 Knight Science Journalism fellow.

Watch the video above, then catch up on previous talks from the Faculty Forum Online.

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