Niklas "Nick" Bostrom is a Swedish philosopher at the University of Oxford known for his work on existential risk, the anthropic principle, human enhancement ethics, superintelligence risks, and the reversal test.
We take on the harrowing topic of existential risk and examine the many ways that things could go very badly for humanity. On the bright side, Nick Bostrom is always an enjoyable read.
Human civilization is only a few thousand years old (depending on how we count). So if civilization will ultimately last for millions of years, it could be considered surprising that we’ve found ourselves so early in history. Should we therefore predict that human civilization will probably disappear within a few thousand years? This “Doomsday Argument” shares a family resemblance to ideas used by many professional cosmologists to judge whether a model of the universe is natural or not. Philosopher Nick Bostrom is the world’s expert on these kinds of anthropic arguments. We talk through them, leading to the biggest doozy of them all: the idea that our perceived reality might be a computer simulation being run by enormously more powerful beings.Support Mindscape on Patreon.Nick Bostrom received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the London School of Economics. He also has bachelor’s degrees in philosophy, mathematics, logic, and artificial intelligence from the University of Gothenburg, an M.A. in philosophy and physics from the University of Stockholm, and an M.Sc. in computational neuroscience from King’s College London. He is currently a Professor of Applied Ethics at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Future of Humanity Institute, and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology. He is the author of Anthropic Bias: Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy and Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.Web siteOxford web pageWikipediaAmazon author pageTalk on the Simulation Argument
Many smart people out there say AI is an existential risk. AI Armageddon is certainly is a top-5 concern of  enough people that we feel it warrants a deeper understanding. And in Superintelligence, Bostrom is the perfect robot-impersonating-author to teach us AI 101 while simultaneously capturing AI’s full scale and magnitude. He talked to everybody and covers the biggest questions: what are all the potential outcomes? How likely is AI? When might it happen? What’s the history of AI technology and are we excited about nothing? If an artificial intelligence does take over what would it do? High-probability take-over-the-world is on the early menu.  Plus, what’s the world’s current #robotpopulation? Could #serversruntheworld?  This book will make you think differently about the way your BRAIN and your SOCIETY operate. This Books Brothers summary will do ALL that and make you laugh.
Nick Bostrom is a philosopher at University of Oxford and the director of the Future of Humanity Institute. He has worked on fascinating and important ideas in existential risks, simulation hypothesis, human enhancement ethics, and the risks of superintelligent AI systems, including in his book Superintelligence. I can see talking to Nick multiple times on this podcast, many hours each time, but we have to start somewhere. Support this podcast by signing up with these sponsors: – Cash App – use code “LexPodcast” and download: – Cash App (App Store): – Cash App (Google Play): EPISODE LINKS: Nick’s
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Creator Details

Mar 10th, 1973
Episode Count
Podcast Count
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1 day, 7 hours
Podchaser Creator ID logo 742445