Lex Fridman interviews Nick Bostrom.

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. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

Time Index:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:48 – Simulation hypothesis and simulation argument
  • 12:17 – Technologically mature civilizations
  • 15:30 – Case 1: if something kills all possible civilizations
  • 19:08 – Case 2: if we lose interest in creating simulations
  • 22:03 – Consciousness
  • 26:27 – Immersive worlds
  • 28:50 – Experience machine
  • 41:10 – Intelligence and consciousness
  • 48:58 – Weighing probabilities of the simulation argument
  • 1:01:43 – Elaborating on Joe Rogan conversation
  • 1:05:53 – Doomsday argument and anthropic reasoning
  • 1:23:02 – Elon Musk
  • 1:25:26 – What’s outside the simulation?
  • 1:29:52 – Superintelligence
  • 1:47:27 – AGI utopia
  • 1:52:41 – Meaning of life

Lex Fridman interviews Simon Sinek in the latest episode of his podcast.

Simon Sinek is an author of several books including Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last, and his latest The Infinite Game. He is one of the best communicators of what it takes to be a good leader, to inspire, and to build businesses that solve big difficult challenges. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

OUTLINE:
0:00 – Introduction
3:50 – Meaning of life as an infinite game
10:13 – Optimism
13:30 – Mortality
17:52 – Hard work
26:38 – Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and leadership

Lex Fridman interviews Anca Dragan, a professor at Berkeley, working on human-robot interaction — algorithms that look beyond the robot’s function in isolation, and generate robot behavior that accounts for interaction and coordination with human beings.

OUTLINE:
0:00 – Introduction
2:26 – Interest in robotics
5:32 – Computer science
7:32 – Favorite robot
13:25 – How difficult is human-robot interaction?
32:01 – HRI application domains
34:24 – Optimizing the beliefs of humans
45:59 – Difficulty of driving when humans are involved
1:05:02 – Semi-autonomous driving
1:10:39 – How do we specify good rewards?
1:17:30 – Leaked information from human behavior
1:21:59 – Three laws of robotics
1:26:31 – Book recommendation
1:29:02 – If a doctor gave you 5 years to live…
1:32:48 – Small act of kindness
1:34:31 – Meaning of life

Lex Fridman interviews Vitalik Buterin is co-creator of Ethereum and ether, which is a cryptocurrency that is currently the second-largest digital currency after bitcoin.

Ethereum has a lot of interesting technical ideas that are defining the future of blockchain technology, and Vitalik is one of the most brilliant people innovating this space today. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

Timeline:
0:00 – Introduction
4:43 – Satoshi Nakamoto
8:40 – Anonymity
11:31 – Open source project leadership
13:04 – What is money?
30:02 – Blockchain and cryptocurrency basics
46:51 – Ethereum
59:23 – Proof of work
1:02:12 – Ethereum 2.0
1:13:09 – Beautiful ideas in Ethereum
1:16:59 – Future of cryptocurrency
1:22:06 – Cryptocurrency resources and people to follow
1:24:28 – Role of governments
1:27:27 – Meeting Putin
1:29:41 – Large number of cryptocurrencies
1:32:49 – Mortality

Lex Fridman interviews Lee Smolin, a theoretical physicist, co-inventor of loop quantum gravity, and a contributor of many interesting ideas to cosmology, quantum field theory, the foundations of quantum mechanics, theoretical biology, and the philosophy of science.

He is the author of several books including one that critiques the state of physics and string theory called The Trouble with Physics, and his latest book, Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum.

This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. 

Time Stamps:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:03 – What is real?
  • 5:03 – Scientific method and scientific progress
  • 24:57 – Eric Weinstein and radical ideas in science
  • 29:32 – Quantum mechanics and general relativity
  • 47:24 – Sean Carroll and many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics
  • 55:33 – Principles in science
  • 57:24 – String theory

Lex Fridman interviews Ann Druyan, the writer, producer, director, and one of the most important and impactful communicators of science in our time.

She co-wrote the 1980 science documentary series Cosmos hosted by Carl Sagan, whom she married in 1981, and her love for whom, with the help of NASA, was recorded as brain waves on a golden record along with other things our civilization has to offer and launched into space on the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft that are now, 42 years later, still active, reaching out farther into deep space than any human-made object ever has. This was a profound and beautiful decision she made as a Creative Director of NASA’s Voyager Interstellar Message Project. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. In 2014, she went on to create the second season of Cosmos, called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and in 2020, the new third season called Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which is being released this upcoming Monday, March 9. It is hosted, once again, by the fun and brilliant Neil deGrasse Tyson.

OUTLINE:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:24 – Role of science in society
  • 7:04 – Love and science
  • 9:07 – Skepticism in science
  • 14:15 – Voyager, Carl Sagan, and the Golden Record
  • 36:41 – Cosmos
  • 53:22 – Existential threats
  • 1:00:36 – Origin of life
  • 1:04:22 – Mortality

Lex Fridman interviews Alex Garland, writer and director of many imaginative and philosophical films from the dreamlike exploration of human self-destruction in the movie Annihilation to the deep questions of consciousness and intelligence raised in the movie Ex Machina.

OUTLINE:
0:00 – Introduction
3:42 – Are we living in a dream?
7:15 – Aliens
12:34 – Science fiction: imagination becoming reality
17:29 – Artificial intelligence
22:40 – The new “Devs” series and the veneer of virtue in Silicon Valley
31:50 – Ex Machina and 2001: A Space Odyssey
44:58 – Lone genius
49:34 – Drawing inpiration from Elon Musk
51:24 – Space travel
54:03 – Free will
57:35 – Devs and the poetry of science
1:06:38 – What will you be remembered for?

Lex Fridman interviews John Hopfield, a professor at Princeton, whose life’s work weaved beautifully through biology, chemistry, neuroscience, and physics.

Most crucially, he saw the messy world of biology through the piercing eyes of a physicist. He is perhaps best known for his work on associate neural networks, now known as Hopfield networks that were one of the early ideas that catalyzed

Timeline:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:35 – Difference between biological and artificial neural networks
  • 8:49 – Adaptation
  • 13:45 – Physics view of the mind
  • 23:03 – Hopfield networks and associative memory
  • 35:22 – Boltzmann machines
  • 37:29 – Learning
  • 39:53 – Consciousness
  • 48:45 – Attractor networks and dynamical systems
  • 53:14 – How do we build intelligent systems?
  • 57:11 – Deep thinking as the way to arrive at breakthroughs
  • 59:12 – Brain-computer interfaces
  • 1:06:10 – Mortality
  • 1:08:12 – Meaning of life

Lex Fridman interviews Marcus Hutter ,a senior research scientist at DeepMind and professor at Australian National University.

Throughout his career of research, including with Jürgen Schmidhuber and Shane Legg, he has proposed a lot of interesting ideas in and around the field of artificial general intelligence, including the development of the AIXI model which is a mathematical approach to AGI that incorporates ideas of Kolmogorov complexity, Solomonoff induction, and reinforcement learning. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

OUTLINE:
0:00 – Introduction
3:32 – Universe as a computer
5:48 – Occam’s razor
9:26 – Solomonoff induction
15:05 – Kolmogorov complexity
20:06 – Cellular automata
26:03 – What is intelligence?
35:26 – AIXI – Universal Artificial Intelligence
1:05:24 – Where do rewards come from?
1:12:14 – Reward function for human existence
1:13:32 – Bounded rationality
1:16:07 – Approximation in AIXI
1:18:01 – Godel machines
1:21:51 – Consciousness
1:27:15 – AGI community
1:32:36 – Book recommendations
1:36:07 – Two moments to relive (past and future)

Lex Fridman interviews Michael Jordan – not that Michael Jordan.

Michael I Jordan is a professor at Berkeley, and one of the most influential people in the history of machine learning, statistics, and artificial intelligence. He has been cited over 170,000 times and has mentored many of the world-class researchers defining the field of AI today, including Andrew Ng, Zoubin Ghahramani, Ben Taskar, and Yoshua Bengio. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

OUTLINE:
0:00 – Introduction
3:02 – How far are we in development of AI?
8:25 – Neuralink and brain-computer interfaces
14:49 – The term “artificial intelligence”
19:00 – Does science progress by ideas or personalities?
19:55 – Disagreement with Yann LeCun
23:53 – Recommender systems and distributed decision-making at scale
43:34 – Facebook, privacy, and trust
1:01:11 – Are human beings fundamentally good?
1:02:32 – Can a human life and society be modeled as an optimization problem?
1:04:27 – Is the world deterministic?
1:04:59 – Role of optimization in multi-agent systems
1:09:52 – Optimization of neural networks
1:16:08 – Beautiful idea in optimization: Nesterov acceleration
1:19:02 – What is statistics?
1:29:21 – What is intelligence?
1:37:01 – Advice for students
1:39:57 – Which language is more beautiful: English or French?