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

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