Andrew Ng, Baidu; Stanford CS faculty; founded Coursera and Google BrainWorrying about the rise of evil killer robots is like worrying about overpopulation and pollution on Mars before we've even set foot on it - an unnecessary distraction.
Bill Gates, Philanthropist. Founder and former CEO of Microsoft.
disagrees Social media threaten democracyI felt sure that allowing anyone to publish information and making it easy to find would enhance democracy and the overall quality of political debate. However, the partitioning you talk about which started on cable TV and might be even stronger in the digital world is a concern. We all need to think about how to avoid this problem. It would seem strange to have to force people to look at ideas th... See More
Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli historian and a tenured professor at the Hebrew University of JerusalemPaying people not to work will only increase inequality and rancor. [...] If universal basic income is aimed to improve the objective conditions of the average person in 2050, it has a fair chance of succeeding. But if it is aimed to make people subjectively more satisfied with their lot in order to prevent social discontent, it is likely to fail.
Andrew Ng, Baidu; Stanford CS faculty; founded Coursera and Google BrainI do not believe in unconditional basic income because this just encourages people to be trapped in low skilled jobs without a meaningful path to climb up to do better work. So rather than to pay people to “do nothing” I would rather see a new “New deal” where we pay you to study because I think that today we know how to educate people at scale and the society is pretty good at finding meaningf... See More
Cyrus Vance Jr., New York County District Attorney
disagrees Encryption is a human rightThe United States Constitution provides that local law enforcement agents may obtain access to places where criminals hide evidence – including their homes, car trunks, storage facilities, computers, and digital networks – so long as the agents have a search warrant issued by a judge. Carved into the bedrock of the Fourth Amendment is a balance between the privacy rights of individuals and the pub... See More
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.
John Clarke, Social Activist. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. Canada.If we are to go on the offensive against the neoliberal agenda, surely it is the fight for free, expanded and accessible public services that should be our focus. If present systems of income support for unemployed, sick and disabled people are inadquate, we can demand full entitlement, adequate income and an end to intrusive rules and moral policing.However, rather than hope for a tax funded paym... See More
Chris Hedges, American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer.The oligarchs do not propose structural change. They do not want businesses and the marketplace regulated. They do not support labor unions. They will not pay a living wage to their bonded labor in the developing world or the American workers in their warehouses and shipping centers or driving their delivery vehicles. They have no intention of establishing free college education, universal governm... See More
Karl Brenke, Economist at the German Institute for Economics (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaft DIW) in BerlinThe idea of freedom, which is connected with UBI, is essentially the opposite: namely the loss of freedom. It is no longer individual citizens who take care of themselves, but the state. The citizen thus becomes the subject of an increasingly powerful state. And because the state provides its citizens with income – which it has previously taken out of their pockets in the form of taxes – all futur... See More
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.
It remains the case that far too many people are unaware of just how badly some of these schools fail their pupils. All over the country there are children whose education is being severely limited, whose understanding of the world is being fatally undermined, and whose individuality and identity are being constrained.
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
disagrees Creationism in schoolsThe creationists have also changed their name, this time to “Intelligent Design Theorists” who study “irreducible complexity” and the “abrupt appearance” of life, yet more jargon for “God did it.” This is what ignites my ire about the creationists — their disingenuousness about their religious motivations. Make no mistake about it. Creationists do not want equal time. They want all the time. Their... See More
Steve Sinnott, Former general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, UKThere is a view that the promotion of greater influence of faith groups in running our schools could be detrimental to community cohesion and social cohesion and could promote ethnic segregation.
Jonathan Romain, Rabbi, writerThere is a real danger that the growth in faith schools today will be blamed in 30 years’ time for the social disharmony then. It is not too late to reverse that trend, if we want a society that has diversity within unity, not at the expense of it.
Margaret Knight, Psychologist, humanist...in a climate of thought that is increasingly unfavourable to these beliefs, it is a mistake to try to impose them on children, and to make them the basis of moral training. The moral education of children is much too important a matter to be built on such foundations.
The glaring hypocrisy of our integration agenda is that our most important public institutions actively encourage segregation. Faith schools make up one third of all schools in Britain. Our government is proposing that they have even more power to discriminate by selecting more of their places based on religious belief. Public funds are being used to separate children by faith. What could be more ... See More
Humanists UK, Humanist organisationReligious selection stunts social mobility, discriminates against children on the basis of their assumed religion, and segregates them along religious and ethnic lines too. It is a stain on our education system and the sooner both the Government and the schools themselves realise this, the better.
We oppose faith schools in principle. Parents are entitled to raise their children within a faith tradition, but they are not entitled to enlist the help of the state to do so. The state should not fund proselytisation or allow the schools it funds to inculcate children into a particular religion. There are other reasons why organising children's education around religious identities is a bad idea... See More
Keith Porteous Wood, President of the National Secular Society...faith schools generally have higher standards: broadly because of their unique ability to operate religiously selective admissions policies, which are known to work against children from less affluent backgrounds. Were that privilege to be taken away, the preference for faith schools would soon evaporate.
Faith schools force-feed their pupils in the same way foie gras producers force-feed their geese, except instead of fat livers you get closed minds. Picking one faith to demonise for all that while overlooking the same offences by others is, well, uneducated. We have a system of education which everybody in Britain pays into, but does not have an equal right to access. Faith schools exist purely b... See More
Catherine Bennett, JournalistDivisiveness is, after all, the point. Until devout parents decide, as they will not, that their religions are interchangeable, the very existence of a faith school belittles rivals and heathens alike. And even within a church as carefully non-discriminatory as the Church of England, there can be no knowing how individual teachers talk about people who, as a token of devotion, they regard as steep... See More
I have always felt uneasy about fervently religious schools. They seem to teach exactly the opposite of what education should be about — to give pupils all the facts and allow them to discover their beliefs for themselves... it is an anomaly to allow publicly funded schools to choose their intake, overtly or covertly, on religious background only. No other state-funded institution is exempt from t... See More
Paul G. Allen, Co-founder of MicrosoftGaining a comprehensive scientific understanding of human cognition is one of the hardest problems there is. We continue to make encouraging progress. But by the end of the century, we believe, we will still be wondering if the singularity is near.
Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple Inc, inventor of the personal computerIt's actually going to turn out really good for humans. And it will be hundreds of years down the stream before they'd even have the ability. They'll be so smart by then that they'll know they have to keep nature, and humans are part of nature. So I got over my fear that we'd be replaced by computers. They're going to help us. We're at least the gods originally.
Yann LeCun, Computer scientist working in machine learning and computer visionThere are several real or imagined dangers about AI. Today, the danger of a Terminator scenario or something like this... those are not things that we’re worried about because we just don’t have the technology to build machines like that.
Stanford University, Stanford University ReportContrary to the more fantastic predictions for AI in the popular press, the Study Panel found no cause for concern that AI is an imminent threat to humankind. No machines with self-sustaining long-term goals and intent have been developed, nor are they likely to be developed in the near future.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at FacebookI have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic. I think you can build things and the world gets better. But with AI especially, I am really optimistic. I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don't understand it. It's really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible
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
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.
Carlo Rovelli, Theoretical Physicist and AuthorHow close to thinking are the machines we have built, or are going to be built soon? The answer is easy: immensely far. The gap between our best computers and the brain of a child is the gap between a drop of water and the Pacific Ocean. Differences are in performance, structural, functional, and more. Any maundering about how to deal with thinking machines is totally premature to say the least.
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
Anke Hassel, Sociologist. Professor at the Hertie School of Governance. Director of Hans Böckler Foundation’s WSIThe basic income will further divide society and prevent social mobility. Those who, due to their family background, have good prospects for interesting employment and high income will maintain their existing work ethic, engaging in school and study, and maybe taking a sabbatical or two in between. This is a good thing. However, life will become more difficult for young people from parts of societ... See More
Branko Milanovic, Economist. Development and inequality expert.Economically, states already guarantee a basic salary under certain conditions, for example in cases of unemployment or extreme poverty. With universal basic income, this assistance would no longer be temporary or linked to a certain condition, and I don’t think it would be sustainable. Moreover, I don’t like the idea of a world where work is no longer a form of self-realisation for citizens. I im... See More
Dame Julia Goodfellow, Universities UK's President and University of Kent's Vice-ChancellorThe case for staying in Europe is about ensuring the future prosperity of the UK, it’s about maximising the chances of new discoveries that enhance the society in which we live, it’s about the UK’s standing in the world, it’s about British jobs and it’s about opportunities for British people now and in the future.
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
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