Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 19, 2014

Brian Gongol

Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio

Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.

Are the computers out to get us?

Worth reading Superintelligence by Bostrom. We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 3, 2014

Technology tycoon Elon Musk thinks that we are letting artificial intelligence (AI) get far ahead of necessary rules and regulations, and he thinks it's a huge threat to the survival of humanity. Some people say he's "not completely crazy" for thinking that. Reporter Sharon Gaudin of Computerworld (@sgaudin) came on the show to discuss the risks and realities.

Self-piloted cars in Iowa City

There's an effort afoot to get Iowa City and Johnson County ready (and high on the list) for tests of self-piloted cars, like Google's self-driving concept. But it turns out that the University of Iowa has been working on this kind of technology for about 20 years, and Dan McGehee (@dancrashman) of the university's Public Policy Center says it's a public-health issue: The more we can turn over the driving to computers (which never get drunk, tired, or distracted), the more crashes we'll prevent and the more lives we'll save.

To that end, pay attention to the Iowa Legislature next year: The Board of Regents has given the U of I the go-ahead to ask for $1 million to establish a public-private partnership to accelerate the development of self-piloted vehicles.

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