Lex Fridman interviews the one and only Richard Dawkins.

Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist, and author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion, The Magic of Reality, The Greatest Show on Earth, and his latest Outgrowing God. He is the originator and popularizer of a lot of fascinating ideas in evolutionary biology and science in general, including funny enough the introduction of the word meme in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which in the context of a gene-centered view of evolution is an exceptionally powerful idea. He is outspoken, bold, and often fearless in his defense of science and reason, and in this way, is one of the most influential thinkers of our time. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

Time Index:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:31 – Intelligent life in the universe
  • 5:03 – Engineering intelligence (are there shortcuts?)
  • 7:06 – Is the evolutionary process efficient?
  • 10:39 – Human brain and AGI
  • 15:31 – Memes
  • 26:37 – Does society need religion?
  • 33:10 – Conspiracy theories
  • 39:10 – Where do morals come from in humans?
  • 46:10 – AI began with the ancient wish to forge the gods
  • 49:18 – Simulation
  • 56:58 – Books that influenced you
  • 1:02:53 – Meaning of life

Lex Fridman interviews David Silver for the Artificial Intelligence podcast..

David Silver leads the reinforcement learning research group at DeepMind and was lead researcher on AlphaGo, AlphaZero and co-lead on AlphaStar, and MuZero and lot of important work in reinforcement learning.

Time Index:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 4:09 – First program
  • 11:11 – AlphaGo
  • 21:42 – Rule of the game of Go
  • 25:37 – Reinforcement learning: personal journey
  • 30:15 – What is reinforcement learning?
  • 43:51 – AlphaGo (continued)
  • 53:40 – Supervised learning and self play in AlphaGo
  • 1:06:12 – Lee Sedol retirement from Go play
  • 1:08:57 – Garry Kasparov
  • 1:14:10 – Alpha Zero and self play
  • 1:31:29 – Creativity in AlphaZero
  • 1:35:21 – AlphaZero applications
  • 1:37:59 – Reward functions
  • 1:40:51 – Meaning of life

Lex Fridman delivers a talk with some advice about life and my own journey and passion in artificial intelligence.

The audience is a group of Drexel engineering students, friends and family in Philadelphia, delivered before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Time Index:

  • 0:00 – Overview – The Voice poem
  • 6:46 – Artificial intelligence
  • 13:44 – Open problems in AI
  • 14:10 – Problem 1: Learning to understand
  • 17:15 – Problem 2: Learning to act
  • 19:28 – Problem 3: Reasoning
  • 20:44 – Problem 4: Connection between humans & AI systems
  • 23:57 – Advice about life as an optimization problem
  • 24:10 – Advice 1: Listen to your inner voice – ignore the gradient
  • 25:12 – Advice 2: carve your own path
  • 26:28 – Advice 2: Measure passion not progress
  • 28:10 – Advice 4: work hard
  • 29:05 – Advice 5: forever oscillate between gratitude and dissatisfaction
  • 31:10 – Q&A: Meaning of life
  • 33:11 – Q&A: Simulation hypothesis
  • 36:15 – Q&A: How do you define greatness?

Lex Fridman interviews Roger Penrose, a physicist, mathematician, and philosopher at University of Oxford.

He has made fundamental contributions in many disciplines from the mathematical physics of general relativity and cosmology to the limitations of a computational view of consciousness. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

Time Index:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 3:51 – 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 9:43 – Consciousness and computation
  • 23:45 – What does it mean to “understand”
  • 31:37 – What’s missing in quantum mechanics?
  • 40:09 – Whatever consciousness is, it’s not a computation
  • 44:13 – Source of consciousness in the human brain
  • 1:02:57 – Infinite cycles of big bangs
  • 1:22:05 – Most beautiful idea in mathematics

Lex Fridman interviews William MacAskill, a philosopher, ethicist, and one of the originators of the effective altruism movement.

His research focuses on the fundamentals of effective altruism – the use of evidence and reason to help others by as much as possible with our time and money, with a particular concentration on how to act given moral uncertainty. He is the author of Doing Good Better – Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference. He is a co-founder and the President of the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) that encourages people to commit to donate at least 10% of their income to the most effective charities. He co-founded 80,000 Hours, a non-profit that provides research and advice on how you can best make a difference through your career. This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast.

Time Index:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 2:39 – Utopia – the Long Reflection
  • 10:25 – Advertisement model
  • 15:56 – Effective altruism
  • 38:28 – Criticism
  • 49:02 – Biggest problems in the world
  • 53:40 – Suffering
  • 1:01:40 – Animal welfare
  • 1:09:23 – Existential risks
  • 1:19:08 – Existential risk from AGI

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