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How I see artificial intelligence now


The truth is your friend
W Daniel Hillis Scientist
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And I also have a general principle. You know, there's... there are very few general principles that I feel like I've learned in life. People talk about how you get wiser as you get older and I can think of very few ways that I've gotten wiser. But the one way that I've gotten wiser is I've learned that the truth is your friend. I've learned to embrace the truth, to be on the side of the truth. And if something is true, then I think we should be open about it. And I think it's better to live in a world where the truth is exposed, is acknowledged, rather than a world where we try to hide it or cheat it or fudge it, or... and so in some sense, an awful lot of privacy ends up being fudging the truth, pretending that things are other than they are. And I'm fundamentally, when it comes down to it, on the side of the truth.

W Daniel Hillis (b. 1956) is an American inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While doing his doctoral work at MIT under artificial intelligence pioneer, Marvin Minsky, he invented the concept of parallel computers, that is now the basis for most supercomputers. He also co-founded the famous parallel computing company, Thinking Machines, in 1983 which marked a new era in computing. In 1996, Hillis left MIT for California, where he spent time leading Disney’s Imagineers. He developed new technologies and business strategies for Disney's theme parks, television, motion pictures, Internet and consumer product businesses. More recently, Hillis co-founded an engineering and design company, Applied Minds, and several start-ups, among them Applied Proteomics in San Diego, MetaWeb Technologies (acquired by Google) in San Francisco, and his current passion, Applied Invention in Cambridge, MA, which 'partners with clients to create innovative products and services'. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices (including a 10,000-year mechanical clock), and has recently moved into working on problems in medicine. In recognition of his work Hillis has won many awards, including the Dan David Prize.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes George Dyson

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: truth, privacy, wisdom

Duration: 1 minute, 1 second

Date story recorded: October 2016

Date story went live: 05 July 2017