Doug Scott on AI – Interview

So this is the first interview in an unknown series length where we are going to quiz people on their thoughts regarding AI.

To start up we have Doug Scott, who’s idea it was for this site. You can read more about Doug here:

Anyway, lets get this started:

1. Since you set this site up, what is your interest in AI?

I find it both fascinating and scary that humans are on the edge of creating something that is more powerful than themselves in so many ways ( be it 20 years or 500 years it is close ). Does AI become the new species that rules the universe forever or have other species been here before and something happened? I can’t believe in all of time and with the size of the universe a species has not got to this point before…. What happened OR what is happening that we are not aware of or can’t even comprehend.

2. Why should we care about the ethics in AI?

The rules we set for AI if done well can create the future universe we imagine. If done well then we could help create something very special, if done badly…..

3. Since you have been so active in startups, what is the best use of AI in a startup or business you have seen and why did you like it?

Many people are using AI to do a function better than a human can do, that is ok and to me is another type of hammer to hit a nail, but it does not change the game. The things I like are things that create platforms for game changing advancements. I am a great believer in none centralised control and data for the benefit of humanity and hence utilising AI and blockchain is something I find interesting. People like the guys at Ocean Protocol or Raven Protocol are interesting.

4. What scares you about AI?

Getting the ethics at the beginning wrong. My concern is that we are rushing headlong into advancing the tech without enough thought going into the ethics that the new AI systems will be based on.

5. If a self driving car had to choose one of two separate people to run over, who should it choose?

You:) On a serious note we need to realise that all life is not equal. That sounds awful, but humans do make decisions everyday that have huge implications on other humans. If a human was driving the car and had to choose who to run over they would make decisions based on certain morals and facts, we need to document these and make sure we make the car able to react based on our morals. We may do this at an individual level or a society one.

6. If you could conceptualise any use of AI that would most benefit humanity what would it be?

Helping us advance our thinking on integrity, morals and ethics.

7. Who do you admire the most when it comes to AI

The people I have watched who seem to have some grasp on the enormity are Jan Talin and Nick Bostrom.

8. You have one question you can ask to someone about AI, who would it be and what would you ask?

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Can you all spend 4 weeks, together, 24 hours per day in the company of 10 of the most knowledgeable people in AI with no one else around.

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So there we have it, we hope you enjoyed hearing a new viewpoint on the ethics of AI.

Thanks Doug.

If you would like to get involved, either asking questions or being asked them get in touch.



Richard Young

Richard has been interested in the AI space for some years. Questions of ethics can raise some serious problems. What if AI can learn who is pre-disposed to cancer and then not give them health insurance?