Opinions from influencers order top occupation university teacher alma mater any topic any agree & disagree
Stephen Hawking, British physicistThe primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but I fear the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans.
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry and president of the Royal SocietyI am very happy eating transgenic maize. Genetically modified foods can make a difference: adapted to drought or more nutrients in a crop such as Golden Rice, in which precursors of vitamin A are introduced and can help prevent childhood blindness.
Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor at MITIf we're willing to send half a million fellow citizens into battle, to protect oil supplies and our economic way of life, we should be no less willing to make the small sacrifice of paying more for gasoline. A revenue-neutral plan that reduced Social Security taxes by $1 billion for every penny a gallon of gas tax would leave the working poor and middle class better off than before. In the long t... See More
Noam Chomsky, Linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activistIt comes from the right wing originally. Milton Friedman proposed it for example. From his point of view it was part of an effort to undermine welfare state measures. But it doesn’t have to have a reactionary component. It can be interpreted as something progressive. That people have rights. In fact if you read the universal declaration of human rights, 1948, take a look at article 45. It says peo... See More
Before the prospect of an intelligence explosion, we humans are like small children playing with a bomb [...] We have little idea when the detonation will occur, though if we hold the device to our ear we can hear a faint ticking sound
Yanis Varoufakis, Former finance minister of Greece, is Professor of Economics at the University of AthensEither we are going to have a basic income that regulates this new society of ours, or we are going to have very substantial social conflicts that get far worse with xenophobia and refugees and migration and so forth.
Bill Mitchell, Professor of Economics and MusicianA basic income guarantee is a neo-liberal strategy for serfdom without the work ... In addition to a Job Guarantee we also demand a Services Guarantee. It is no good having a bare minimum income if the dentists and doctors and shops in your town are closed and the public transport system is deficient.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader, and risk analystThere are resilient ways to solve problems, say feed the world, without complicated technologies that entail fragility and unkown possibilities.
All education should be secular. But failing that, religious indoctrination - which in a free society will occur, because one cannot outlaw religion itself, though one should argue against it vigorously – should happen at the private expense of those who choose to inflict it on their children. It should emphatically not be happening at public expense.
If you think about that, somehow saying that, well, anything goes, we shouldn’t offend religious beliefs by requiring kids to know – to understand reality; that’s child abuse. And if you think about it, teaching kids – or allowing the notion that the earth is 6,000 years old to be promulgated in schools is like teaching kids that the distance across the United States is 17 feet. That’s how big an ... See More
disagrees Creationism in schoolsBut it doesn’t matter what the definition of “science” is: the First Amendment prohibits pushing religion in the classroom, and creationism is religion. Scholars don’t have the right to “explore” the role of God in the history of life. As I said, I’d object to scholars lying to their students, but would try to take legal action only against lies that violate the Constitution. The courts have defin... See More
Tina Beattie, Writer, broadcaster
agrees State-funded faith schoolsThere’s a difference between religious schools (which teach religion) and faith schools (which teach the national curriculum). I support state funding for the latter. Religious parents pay taxes and are entitled to a reasonable choice in education. Where is the evidence that religious instruction is ‘bad for society’? Secular society must accommodate a genuine plurality of beliefs and values in ed... See More
Rodney A. Brooks, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, author, and robotics entrepreneurIf we are spectacularly lucky we’ll have AI over the next thirty years with the intentionality of a lizard, and robots using that AI will be useful tools. [...] Worrying about AI that will be intentionally evil to us is pure fear mongering
Roger Schank, John Evans Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Psychology and Education, Northwestern UniversityMachines cannot think. They are not going to think any time soon. They may increasingly do more interesting things, but the idea that we need to worry about them, regulate them, or grant them civil rights, is just plain silly.
Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard UniversityThere is not the slightest reason to believe in a coming singularity. The fact that you can visualize a future in your imagination is not evidence that it is likely or even possible. Look at domed cities, jet-pack commuting, underwater cities, mile-high buildings, and nuclear-powered automobiles--all staples of futuristic fantasies when I was a child that have never arrived. Sheer processing power... See More
Richard Schmalensee, Professor of Management and Economics at MIT
disagrees $13,000 a year for every over-21-year-old American instead of all transfer payments would be better than the status quoA properly designed negative income tax could be part of a better policy, but replacing everything is a bad idea.
Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science at BerkeleyThe question is: Could you prove that your systems can’t ever, no matter how smart they are, overwrite their original goals as set by the humans?
Oliver Hart, Nobel Prize winner in Economics and Professor at Harvard
disagrees $13,000 a year for every over-21-year-old American instead of all transfer payments would be better than the status quoBill Gates would get 13K, which is crazy. Raising taxes is costly and so redistribution should be targeted to those who need help most.
Alan Turing, British mathematician and logician, a major contributor to mathematics, cryptanalysis, and AIEven if we could keep the machines in a subservient position, for instance by turning off the power at strategic moments, we should, as a species, feel greatly humbled. … [T]his new danger … is certainly something which can give us anxiety.
Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at U. Missouri–Kansas City, Senior Scholar at Levy Economics InstituteI do not support sending a BIG check to everyone. It is a devaluation of the currency, as prices rise so that the BIG payment essentially becomes the entry price to the marketplace. So we will need to target the BIG to those who do not (or cannot) work. Yes there’s some stigma. But, first we implement Employer of Last Resort so that anyone who is ready and willing to work has a job in the Job Gua... See More
Richard D. Wolff, Marxian economist. Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, AmherstUBI creates a new difference between those people who work and earn a living and those people who, for wathever reason, don't work but still earn a living. This is going to create two classes of people (...) and for me the big issue is why do that?. I like the idea of community building by not having people that are extremely wealthy or extremely poor, but I don't like this way of doing it, becau... See More
Robert J Shiller, Professor of economics at Yale and Nobel laureate
agrees Robot TaxA moderate tax on robots, even a temporary tax that merely slows the adoption of disruptive technology, seems a natural component of a policy to address rising inequality. Revenue could be targeted towards wage insurance, to help people replaced by new technology make the transition to a different career. This would accord with our natural sense of justice, and thus be likely to endure.
Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester. Vice-Chairman BBC Trust. Former advisor to the UK Treasury.Many foreign investors would relocate, export contracts would not get renegotiated because of the uncertainty, and the transition costs of unpicking a 40+ year relationship would be extremely high
Jonathan Levin, Professor of Economics at Stanford University
disagrees $13,000 a year for every over-21-year-old American instead of all transfer payments would be better than the status quoProvocative idea but as stated would cost ~$3 trillion, equal to all federal tax revenue. What about e.g. national defense?
WiIlliam Nordhaus, Professor of economics at Yale University
Roger Pielke Jr., American political scientist and Professor at the University of Colorado BoulderAccording to the authors, “climate policy makers continue to focus on energy policy as the primary means to address future climate impacts. The approach is simply doomed to fail. Why has the idea of adaptation been so neglected?
Stephen Schneider, Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford UniversityYou can't adapt to melting the Greenland ice sheet. You can't adapt to species that have gone extinct
Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in HuntsvilleI think it is more likely that the warming is mostly natural. At the very least, we have no way of determining what proportion is natural versus human-caused.
Lennart Bengtsson, Swedish meteorologist"The problem we have now in the scientific community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of climate activist
Hans Moravec, Former professor at the Robotics Institute of CMU, and founder of the SeeGrid CorporationHe states that by the end of this process “the immensities of cyberspace will be teeming with unhuman superminds, engaged in affairs that are to human concerns as ours are to those of bacteria”
Marcus Hutter, Professor in the Research School of Computer Science at Australian National UniversityWay before the singularity, even when setting up a virtual society in our imagine, there are likely some immediate difference, for example that the value of an individual life suddenly drops, with drastic consequences.
Elizabeth S. Anderson, Philosopher. University of Michigan.Van Parijs would guarantee everyone the maximum unconditional basic income that could be sustained in a society (...) regardless of wether they were able or performing socially useful work. Lazy, able-bodied surfers would be just as entitled to that income as dependent caretakers or the disabled. (...) Van Parij's proposal effectively indulges the tastes of the lazy and irresponsible at the expen... See More
Marvin Minsky, Mathematician, computer scientist, and pioneer in the field of artificial intelligenceThe ultimate risk comes when our greedy, lazy, masterminds are able at last to take that final step: to design goal-achieving programs which are programmed to make themselves grow increasingly powerful.
Douglas Hofstadter, Professor of cognitive science. Pulitzer prize winnerLife and intelligence are far more complex than the current singularitarians seem to believe, so I doubt it will happen in the next couple of centuries
Randall Wray, Professor of Economics at U. Missouri–Kansas City, Senior Scholar at Levy Economics Institute
agrees Job GuaranteeEstimated spending will be 1–2 percent of GDP, with economic, social and political benefits several times larger. Net program costs will be much lower, since spending on unemployment compensation and other relief will be reduced—this program will pay people for working, rather than paying them not to work. The promise of increased national productivity and shared prosperity should far outweigh an... See More
Paul Jorion, Anthropologist. Sociologist. Université libre de BruxellesIsn't there a better way to answer to answer to the concerns of the beneficiaries of Government benefits? Yes of course: by allocating the sums that we could gather for a UBI program to ensure free basic necessities (food, accommodation, transportation, connectivity) - a measure that, unlike UBI, would not be consumerist in its approach and that would therefore respect the environment. Free necess... See More
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